EU: The Turkey and Brazil may take part in Iranian nuclear talks
The European Union will discuss with the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany) the inclusion of Turkey and Brazil in negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton's office said on Wednesday. A final decision will be made after consulting with all parties involved, it added. Last weekend in Istanbul, following a meeting with his Brazilian and Iranian counterparts Celso Amorim and Manouchehr Mottaki, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu underlined that there are two tracks on the issue: one, the nuclear swap deal agreed on by Iran, Brazil and Turkey on May 17, and the other, the negotiation process between Iran and the P5+1. Davutoglu repeatedly stressed that Brazil and Turkey could play an important role in facilitating talks. On the two countries' possible involvement in both tracks in the future, Davutoglu stated that Turkey would be glad to help facilitate but only if all parties in the dispute request it. As of Monday, speaking at a joint news conference with visiting German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, Davutoglu said Iran had confirmed that Ashton and Iran's chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili would meet in early September, after Ramadan, the Muslim holy month. In related news, Iran and the US sent positive signals on Wednesday about the possibility of fresh talks on Tehran's nuclear program, which Washington suspects aims to develop atomic weapons. Iran has given assurances that it would stop enriching uranium to 20 percent purity if world powers agreed to a proposed nuclear fuel swap, Davutoglu told reporters. Asked about Davutoglu's comments, the US State Department said Iran had often sent mixed signals but that the US is "fully prepared" to resume talks among the six major powers and Tehran about Iran's nuclear program. Iran last met with the US, Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia in Geneva in October, when they discussed Iran sending some low-enriched uranium abroad in exchange for fuel for a Tehran reactor that makes medical isotopes. "We hope to have the same kind of meeting coming up in the coming weeks that we had last October," State Department spokesman P. J. Crowley told reporters. "We are interested in a process – more than one meeting."