Date set for Iran-Six talks, either China or Iraq to host meeting - Iran's FM
Azerbaijan, Baku, April 4 / Trend S.Isayev, T. Jafarov/
The upcoming talks between Iran and the Six powers may take place in either Iraq or China, Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said today at a meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers, Mehr reported.
Salehi noted that first the sides have to come to an agreement, and Iran's nuclear negotiator, National Security Council Secretary Saeed Jalili has to hold negotiations with country's president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
The talks between Iran and the five permanent UN Security Council members plus Germany are expected to take place on April 13, Salehi added. He expressed hope that this year's negotiations will be more successful than the previous ones.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Saturday the April 13-14 negotiations with Iran would be held in Istanbul, the first such meeting since January 2011 when the two sides failed even to agree on an agenda.
A senior Iranian figure recently spoke out against Turkey hosting the talks as once warm Iranian-Turkish relations have cooled in the past year over the Turkish position against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Iran's close Arab ally.
As far as Iraq hosting the talks, country's Foreign Minister Hoshiyar Zebari told Reuters the proposal for talks in Baghdad came from an Iranian delegation visiting on Tuesday and he would meet with ambassadors from the five Western powers plus Germany on Tehran's plan.
"The proposal came from them. We received a delegation from Iran... Today we are inviting G5 plus one ambassadors to hand over a letter about the proposal," Zebari said.
Iraq's Shi'ite-led government is closely aligned with Iran in a region where Sunni Arab Gulf powers are jockeying for influence with Shi'ite power Tehran.