EU's Ashton to meet Iran's nuclear negotiator in Istanbul on May 15

EU's Ashton to meet Iran's nuclear negotiator in Istanbul on May 15

BRUSSELS - Reuters
EUs Ashton to meet Irans nuclear negotiator in Istanbul on May 15

Ashton and Jalili met in Istanbul on April 2012, after a long freeze in talks. DHA photo

European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton will meet Iran's chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili in Istanbul on May 15, her spokesman said on May 2, to discuss future diplomatic efforts to resolve a decade-old dispute over Tehran's atom work.

The meeting will follow a round of negotiations held in Kazakh city of Almaty in April between Iran and six world powers, which failed to produce a breakthrough.

Ashton represents the six nations - the United States, China, Russia, Britain, France and Germany - in talks with Iran on its controversial atom programme. 

Western diplomats say discussions between Ashton and Jalili will be crucial in deciding whether and when a new round of negotiations between the six powers and Iran can take place. 

The U.N. nuclear watchdog and Iran are also due to hold separate talks in Vienna on May 15. The International Atomic Energy Agency has tried for more than a year to coax Tehran to allow its inspectors to resume a long-stalled investigation into suspected atom bomb research by the Islamic state. 

Iran rejects international suspicions that its atom work has a covert military dimension and says it needs nuclear power for energy generation and medical purposes.