European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana will meet Iran's chief nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani on Thursday for new discussions aimed at resolving the dispute over Tehran's nuclear programme, the EU said.
"It's Thursday. It will be somewhere in Europe, not in Brussels," said Solana spokeswoman Cristina Gallach, adding the aim of the meeting was "to prepare the conditions in order if possible to start negotiations".
Diplomats said Larijani offered at weekend talks with Solana in Vienna to consider temporarily suspending uranium enrichment once negotiations aimed at resolving the dispute began. Washington has said it has no knowledge of any such offer.
The West believes Iran's pilot nuclear program, which Tehran says is solely to generate electricity, is a cover to produce atom bombs and has condemned its disregard of an August 31 UN Security Council deadline to stop enriching uranium.
Big powers' foreign ministers will meet on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York starting next week to discuss moving forward with possible sanctions against Tehran if there has been no breakthrough by then.
However UN Security Council veto-holders China and Russia, plus a number of European nations with significant trade with Iran, are wary of imposing sanctions and advocate giving more time to seek a possible compromise.
EU foreign ministers will discuss Iran at a regular meeting on Friday in Brussels.