The goal of the new round of talks is to find a broad
settlement in the decade-old dispute over Iran's nuclear program
and ease the risk of mistrust leading to deeper tensions or even
conflict in the Middle East.
The diplomatic source said the first meeting between Iran and
six powers — the United States, Russia, China, France, Britain
and Germany — would include Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad
Javad Zarif and EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton.
"It won't happen in January, because of the Chinese New Year,
but it is very, very, very likely in February," the source said,
speaking on condition of anonymity.
Senior diplomats from the seven countries, led by the EU, will
hold talks ahead of the meeting to prepare an agenda.
Iran says its atomic energy program is aimed purely at
electricity generation and other civilian purposes, although
past Iranian attempts to hide sensitive nuclear activity from
U.N. non-proliferation inspectors raised concerns.
(Reporting by Justyna Pawlak, editing by Luke Baker and Ralph
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