Iran wants nuclear talks to resume in Turkey
TEHRAN - Agence France-Presse
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu and his Iranian counterpart Ali Akbar Salehi. AA PhotoIran's foreign minister said Thursday he would like to see talks with world powers on his country's nuclear programme resume in Turkey, but was waiting for a venue and date to be agreed.
"Personally I think that Turkey is the best place for the talks to take place. But it should be at a place of mutual agreement," Ali Akbar Salehi said in a televised joint news conference with visiting Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu.
Salehi said he had asked EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, who was representing the world powers, to propose a time and place for the talks, when the two met briefly recently in the German city of Bonn.
Ashton's office, however, has said it was still waiting for Iran to formally respond to an October 2011 letter Ashton sent offering to resume the talks, which were suspended a year ago.
Salehi brushed aside that demand, saying Iran's top nuclear negotiator, Saeed Jalili, "has said in the past couple of months that Iran is ready to resume talks." He added that Ashton had asked Davutoğlu if Turkey could host the next meeting between Iran and the so-called 5+1 Group comprising UN permanent Security Council members Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States, plus non-permanent member Germany, and that Davutoğlu had agreed.
Iran's position, Salehi said, "is a state of readiness to resume talks." Davutoğlu said in the news conference that he had conveyed Ashton's request for a formal response from Iran.
"We want to see both sides go back to the negotiating table," he said.