(photo credit: Associated Press)
TEHERAN, Iran — Iran on Sunday proposed that a new round of talks with the United States and other world powers on its nuclear program be held in Turkey.
Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said Iran has informed its "friends in Turkey" that it is willing to hold the talks there.
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Mottaki told a news conference that Iran is "hopeful a time and agenda will be agreed upon soon."
Teheran has said it would be ready to hold talks with the six powers
some time after Nov. 10. The six nations are the US, Russia, China,
Britain, France and Germany.
They suspect Iran is pursuing a nuclear weapons capability under the cover of a civil energy program. Iran denies any such claims.
Negotiations between Iran and the other powers foundered a year ago. Since the break-off in
talks, the United States, EU and the United Nations have stepped up
financial sanctions on Teheran. The negotiations between Iran and the group
of six nations stalled in October 2009
over a deal meant to ensure Iran could only use its stockpile of
enriched uranium for fueling nuclear reactors and not for building
Defense Minister Ehud Barak on Saturday was pessimistic about the prospects of Iran ceasing its uranium enrichment program through talks with the West.
"Based on experience and looking at the paradigm which they [the Iranians] are using, which is probably the North Korean example, you can easily see... the objective is to defy, decei(ve) and deter the whole world," Reuters reported Barak as saying at a news conference at an international security forum hosted by the German Marshall Fund.
"I would be happy to ... end up finding myself wrong based on a future development, but I wonder whether this will be the case," Barak added.