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Iran says no date set for N-talks

world Updated: Dec 28, 2010 13:53 IST
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Iran is yet to agree on an exact date for the next round of nuclear talks with world powers due to be held next month in Istanbul, foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said on Tuesday.

"There is an agreement on the venue of the meeting but the date has not been finalised yet. Consultations are ongoing to organise talks in Istanbul somewhere around the end of January," Mehmanparast told reporters.

A senior Iranian official said in Damascus on Monday that next month's talks could resolve the dispute over Iran's nuclear programme.

"We think (the negotiations), in line with the agenda decided in Geneva, could clear the way to resolving problems," said Ali Bagheri, the deputy of Said Jalili, Iran's nuclear negotiator.

"Continuing the negotiations in Istanbul could bring gains to both the parties concerned," Bagheri told a news conference after talks with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

The Istanbul negotiations would be the second round between Iran and six world powers -- Britain, China, France, Russia, United States and Germany -- after talks resumed in Geneva earlier this month following a 14-month hiatus.

The West suspects that Tehran is pursuing an atomic weapons programme under the guise of a civilian nuclear work. Iran denies the charges and insists its activities have a purely peaceful purpose.