Iran says ready for nuclear talks with world powers
ISTANBUL - Reuters
Iran's chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili smiles as he registers his candidacy for the upcoming presidential election at the interior ministry in Tehran on May 11, 2013. AFP photoIran is prepared to pursue nuclear diplomacy with world powers before or after next month's presidential election in the Islamic Republic, its chief negotiator said on Thursday.
Saeed Jalili, who is also a candidate in the presidential race, was speaking after talks on the nuclear dispute with European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton.
"We are ready to continue our talks with the (six powers) whenever they are ready, before or after the presidential election in Iran... Talks will take place soon," Jalili told a news conference, without giving a date.
Jalili's meeting with Ashton, who oversees talks with Iran on behalf of the United States, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany, followed a failed round of big power diplomacy in April, in the Kazakh city of Almaty.
Jalili also reiterated that Iran would never abandon its right to enrich uranium. Major powers want Tehran to suspend its enrichment activities to reassure the world that it is not seeking nuclear weapons. Iran denies having any such goal.