Iran

Ashton says new round of Iran nuclear talks will be held soon: report


The Lebanese daily As-Safir on Friday quoted European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton as saying that a new round of talks over Iran’s nuclear program will be held in the near future.

“Talks between European and Iranian officials over Iran’s nuclear issue will be held soon,” said Ashton, who represents the 5+1 group (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany) in nuclear negotiations with Tehran.

According to the report, Ashton made the remarks after Helga Schmid, the deputy secretary general for political affairs of the European External Action Service, and Ali Baqeri, the deputy secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council met in Istanbul on Tuesday in an attempt to find common ground for another round of high-level talks between Iran and the 5+1 group.

During the latest round of high-level talks held by Iran and the six major powers in Moscow on June 18 and 19, the two sides agreed to hold expert talks.

Michael Mann, a spokesman for European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, said on Tuesday that the next step in discussions between Iran and world powers would be a conversation between Ashton and Saeed Jalili, the secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, who is the country’s chief nuclear negotiator.

Anatolian Agency, quoting diplomatic sources, reported on Wednesday that the next round of talks between Iran and the 5+1 group would be held in Istanbul.

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