Ankara hosts Iran's Bagheri, as efforts underway to find date to resume nuclear talks
As Iran and major world powers prepare to resume nuclear negotiations after a one-year hiatus, Ankara yesterday hosted an unscheduled visit by a high-level Iranian security official. Ali Bagheri, an aide to Iran's Supreme National Security Council Secretary and Chief Nuclear Negotiator Saeed Jalili, met with Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu in Ankara. During the meeting, Davutoglu reportedly urged Iran to resume negotiations with the West without delay. Asking Tehran to avoid suspending talks in the months to come, Davutoglu reportedly said, "Negotiations and a nuclear swap process should take place concurrently. Confidence between the two sides will be built step by step." For his part, Bagheri reportedly said Iran sees the nuclear swap deal brokered by Turkey and Brazil this May as a basis for coming negotiations, and is cool towards any new deal. Though an exact date for the negotiations has yet to be determined, Bagheri, in response to Ankara's offer to resume negotiations next week, on Nov. 10, said, "Iran has previously made it clear that it is ready to restart negotiations. But the Muslim Festival of the Sacrifice holiday falls in the middle of this month." EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and Jalili have agreed to restart negotiations but have yet to set a date or venue. Istanbul or Vienna could host the talks, which are intended to be held one day between Nov. 10-15.