Iran seeks new nuclear talks in Istanbul
Iran yesterday said it has formally agreed to resume talks on its controversial nuclear program with six major powers as President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad gave signals that the next talks would again be held in Istanbul. Iran’s official confirmation of the resumption of the talks, which have been stalled since January, came in a letter delivered to European Union foreign-policy chief Catherine Ashton, who spearheads the talks on behalf of the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany – a group known as the P5+1 powers. “We welcome your return to the negotiations based on cooperation on the common points,” Iran’s top nuclear negotiator, Saeed Jalili, was quoted as saying in the letter, according to a report by Iran’s Arabic-language Al-Alam television. It said the letter was delivered by Tehran’s envoy to the European Union. “The developments in recent months have shown that Iran’s proposal package three years ago was based on the correct understanding of the realities,” Jalili said. He added that “respecting the nation’s rights and refraining from pressure are the two main pillars of cooperation,” Agence France-Presse reported.