Iran willing to talk, Turkey tells P5-1
Turkey is offering its help towards reaching a solution to Iran's controversial nuclear program and is seeking close coordination on the matter, a senior Foreign Ministry source said this week following a meeting with Iran and Brazil. Foreign Ministry Deputy Undersecretary Engin Soysal flew back to Ankara on Sunday after a meeting in Istanbul between the foreign ministers of Turkey, Iran and Brazil to brief the representatives of key Western countries. In addition to offering Turkey's diplomatic assistance, Soysal reportedly told the Ankara-based representatives of the P5+1 countries – the five permanent UN Security Council members plus Germany – that Iran is willing to talk about all issues related to its Tehran research reactor and a proposed exchange of fuel for the facility. Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu held a trilateral meeting Sunday with his Brazilian and Iranian counterparts concerning the nuclear dispute. The talks adopted a three-way format once Iran's Manouchehr Mottaki expressed an interest in attending them. Davutoglu announced after the meeting that yesterday Iran would send a second letter to the Vienna Group – Russia, France, the United States and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) – addressing concerns about the nuclear-fuel swap deal brokered by Turkey and Brazil and signed with Iran in May. Iran was also reportedly convinced at Sunday's talks to hold a meeting between its top nuclear negotiator, Saeed Jalili, and EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton. Davutoglu said nuclear negotiations might resume in early September and expressed Turkey's readiness to host them if needed. Turkey's eagerness to play a facilitator role in a peaceful settlement to the nuclear dispute between Iran and major world powers was evidenced by Soysal's quick return to the capital to brief the P5+1 countries on the talks in Istanbul. US Embassy spokeswoman Deborah L. Guido said yesterday that the embassy "appreciated the briefing and the sharing of information" with Acting Deputy Chief of Mission Daniel J. O'Grady, who met with Soysal. "P5+1 efforts have always been based on a two-track approach: diplomacy and pressure. And both need to be in play to get Iran to change its nuclear policy," she said. "The United States is committed to avoiding conflict in the region and remains committed to a negotiated solution."