Iranian negotiator Saeed Jalili 370 (R).
(photo credit: REUTERS/Mohammed Ameen)
NEW DELHI - Iran has agreed to hold talks with six major powers about its atomic program in January but the date and venue has yet to be decided, the country's top nuclear negotiator said on Friday.
The six powers want to rein in Iran's uranium enrichment program to ensure it is geared only for civilian energy, through a mix of diplomacy and sanctions. Iran denies Western assertions it is seeking nuclear weapons capability.
"We have accepted that these talks should be held in January, but until now, the details have not been finalized," Saeed Jalili said through a translator during a trip to India.
The six powers - the United States, Russia, France, Britain, Germany and China - have failed to achieve a breakthrough in three rounds of talks since April. But neither side has been willing to break off totally, partly because of concern this could lead to war if Israel attacked its arch-foe.
The powers last met Iran for talks in Moscow. That meeting was followed by low-level technical talks in Istanbul.
Jalili is the second member of Iran's nuclear team to visit India in the past month. He said he welcomed the two countries' strong ties but said India had no particular role in getting nuclear talks restarted.
On Thursday, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Iran has not yet crossed the red line
that Israel set on its nuclear program, and Israel remains determined to prevent Tehran from acquiring nuclear weapons.
Netanyahu was speaking at the last session of the annual year-end meeting in the Foreign Ministry for Israel’s ambassadors serving abroad.