Date for Iran nuclear talks arranged, venue unclear
VIENNAIran and six world powers will meet April 13 for new talks about Tehran’s nuclear program, but previous meetings’ failures and disputes over the subjects were preventing an agreement on venue, diplomats told The Associated Press.
Three diplomats from Western nations accredited to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said yesterday the U.S., Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China opposed Iran’s choice of Istanbul because the last round of talks there 14 months ago ended in failure. They said, on the condition of anonymity, Iran, in turn, rejects Vienna because it is home to the IAEA, which is trying to probe allegations Tehran secretly worked on nuclear weapons. That could indicate that Iran will again reject any attempts to focus on its nuclear program during the April 13 talks. The diplomats said neither side favored Geneva, the site of a failed 2010 meeting. One said Belgium was being discussed. Another said Austrian and Swiss venues outside of Vienna and Geneva were still options.
Erdoğan to Obama: Turkey ready to host nuke talks
During his meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama in Seoul, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said March 25 Turkey was ready to host the upcoming nuclear talks between Iran and the 5+1 group (U.N. Security Council members and Germany). On the eve of his Tehran visit, he told Obama Iran had already agreed to attend such a meeting. “[Hosting the 5+1 meeting in Istanbul] would be beneficial. The U.S. will evaluate this,” Erdoğan said, daily Hürriyet reported. Erdoğan also said Turkey viewed Iran’s nuclear development program as a nuclear energy program, unlike the U.S., which saw it as a nuclear weapons project.