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Iran, P5+1 ready for nuclear talks in Istanbul

(Xinhua)

13:37, April 14, 2012

ISTANBUL, April 13 (Xinhua) -- Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany (P5+1) are ready to launch the talks on Iran's nuclear program as all the representatives have arrived in Turkey's Istanbul, the event's host city, as of Friday.
Some representatives even started consultations among themselves on the eve of the crucial event, preparing for the negotiations set to be held at Lutfil Kirdar Hall of Istanbul Convention Center on Saturday.

The Iranian team is led by Saeed Jalili, the Secretary of Supreme National Security Council, while delegations of the six world powers are headed by EU foreign policy Chief Catherine Ashton.

Saeed Jalili has said he intends to bring "new initiatives" to the talks with the P5+1, namely the United States, France, Russia, China and Britain plus Germany

The world powers have spearheaded diplomatic efforts to persuade Iran to rein in its nuclear program, which Iran say is purely peaceful but UN and Western leaders suspect of military purposes.

Iran suggested last week it could reduce its production of 20- percent enriched uranium as a concession to be made during the talks, but it is unclear now whether the proposal is still on the table.

Iran earlier suggested that the venue of the talks be moved from Istanbul to Iraq's Baghdad or a Chinese city due to its dispute with Turkey over the Syrian crisis.

The last minute call for a change angered Turkey and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused Iranian officials of dishonesty.

The last round of nuclear talks between Iran and the P5+1 was held in Istanbul in January 2011, which failed to produce any agreement. Iranian media have reported that the next round of talks will be held in Baghdad.

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