Turkey: Iran Offers Two Dates for Nuclear Talks
Iran has proposed two dates for fresh nuclear talks with the major powers, Nov. 23 and Dec. 5, Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Wednesday, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Mr. Erdogan said in televised remarks that the talks, between Iran and the group known as P5+1-the U.S., China, Russia, France, the U.K. and Germany-wouldn't happen on Nov. 15, as earlier proposed by Iranian officials.
He said no date has yet been agreed to by the parties. The Turkish prime minister was speaking to reporters at Ankara airport on his way to Seoul for a meeting of the leaders of the Group of 20 industrial and developing nations.
Turkey has said it would agree to host the talks if it is asked, but the location remains uncertain. Ankara angered the U.S. earlier this year when it voted against the latest round of economic sanctions against Iran at the United Nations Security Council.
First the European Union and then the P5+1 have been in on-and-off talks with Iran since 2003, in an effort to persuade Tehran to abandon a nuclear fuel program that Western governments in particular believe is designed to produce weapons-grade fuel. The talks have had little success, however. Iran says the fuel is for civilian purposes only and that the program, though conducted in secret, is legal under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
Turkey and Brazil earlier this year persuaded Tehran to agree to a side deal, under which it would transfer part of its existing stockpile of low-grade enriched uranium for storage in Turkey, in exchange for higher-grade uranium fuel rods for use in a medical reactor. Though the P5+1 originally backed the deal, they refused to delay a new round of sanctions. Iran and the P5+1 have been discussing how to get back to the negotiating table ever since.