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Iran nuke talks set for Istanbul

Turkey,Diplomacy,Defence/Security, Sun, 01 Apr 2012 IANS

Istanbul, April 1 (IANS) Iran and six world powers have agreed to meet in Istanbul, the largest city of Turkey, April 13 for the latest round of talks over Iran's nuclear programme, US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has said.


Clinton made the announcement at a news conference Saturday following a security conference in Saudi Arabia.


Turkey would listen to Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the European Union (EU) for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, concerning the decision, Xinhua quoted an official from Turkish foreign ministry as saying.


The announcement came after a more than one-year deadlock on talks over Iran's suspected nuclear programme. The talks group the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany, known as P5+1, as well as Iran.


The last round of Iran and P5+1 talks was held in Istanbul in January 2011 and ended up in failure. The round before that, in late 2010, was in Geneva of Switzerland.


Some European countries want this round of nuclear talks in Geneva rather than Istanbul again. But Iran and Turkey insist on the nuclear talks in Istanbul.


The talks carry hopes of defusing a tense international showdown over Iran's nuclear activities that have sent oil prices soaring.


The UN has imposed four rounds of sanctions against Tehran for its refusal to halt uranium enrichment, a technology that can be used to produce nuclear fuel or materials for bomb.


The EU, the US and many other countries have meanwhile imposed an oil embargo as part of sanctions to pressure Tehran into resuming talks on the country's nuclear programme. They have also imposed tough banking sanctions aimed at limiting Iran's ability to sell oil, which accounts for 80 percent of its foreign revenue.


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