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Iran has proposed dates for new nuclear talks: US

world Updated: Nov 10, 2010 01:43 IST

Iran has formally proposed to EU chief diplomat Catherine Ashton possible dates for new negotiations with the major powers over its nuclear program, the United States said Tuesday.

Ashton, who has been spearheading negotiations on behalf of six world powers, proposed last month that they begin on November 15.

US State Department spokesman Philip Crowley told reporters the EU high representative's office "indicated to us that Iran has in fact responded to Catherine Ashton's invitation."

Tehran "has sent a formal response. Iran has proposed a couple of alternative dates," Crowley said, without naming the dates.

The nuclear talks between Iran and the six world powers -- Britain, China, France, Russia, Germany and the United States -- have been deadlocked since October 2009 when the two sides met in Geneva.

Iran has insisted the talks be held on a package of proposals for global nuclear disarmament that it announced before negotiations broke down, but world powers insist the focus should be directly on Iran's nuclear program.

The deadlock has already led to fresh UN and EU sanctions against Iran, which were followed by several other unilateral punitive measures by other nations, including the United States.

Ashton proposed Vienna as the location for the new talks, but Iran said on Sunday that it wanted them to be held in Turkey.