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'Iran ready to hold N-talks in Turkey'

world Updated: Nov 07, 2010 19:29 IST

AFP
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Iran has informed Ankara it is ready to hold talks in Turkey with the six world powers on its controversial nuclear programme, Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said on Sunday.

"In the last two or three days, we informed our Turkish friends that we agree to hold negotiations in Turkey," Mottaki told reporters, asked about a venue for the upcoming talks.

Iran and the six world powers -- Britain, China, France, Russia, Germany and the United States -- are expected to meet later this month to discuss Tehran's nuclear programme.

Mottaki said the Islamic republic was "very optimistic" about the talks and hoped the two sides would soon agree on the date and agenda.

"I hope we will reach an agreement soon over the date and the contents," he said. "We are very optimistic the discussions will start as soon as possible, as the overall approach of Iran is positive and constructive."

Last month, European Union foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton, who is leading the negotiations on behalf of the six world powers, proposed to hold the talks in Vienna starting on November 15.

The nuclear talks have been deadlocked since October 2009 when the two groups met in Geneva.

The world powers led by the United States suspect that Iran is masking a weapons drive under the guise of a civilian nuclear programme, a charge Tehran strongly denies.