says no date set yet for Iran nuclear talks
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[January 31, 2014]
BRUSSELS / MOSCOW (Reuters) — Global
powers and Iran are still discussing when and where to convene talks on
a deal for Tehran to rein in its nuclear program in exchange for
sanctions relief, the European Union said on Friday, contradicting a
Russian media report.
The Russian news agency Interfax had quoted Mikhail Ulyanov, head
of the Foreign Ministry's security and disarmament department, as
saying earlier on Friday that an agreement had been reached to hold
new talks on February 18 in New York.
Six world powers, including the United States and Russia, have led
years of negotiations aimed at persuading Iran to curb parts of its
nuclear program, which Western powers fear is aimed at creating
atomic weapons capabilities. Iran denies this.
"Discussions on the timing and venue for the next round of talks
with Iran are still ongoing. When a decision is taken, we will
announce it," said Michael Mann, spokesman for EU foreign policy
chief Catherine Ashton.
A November 24 interim deal between Iran and the five permanent U.N.
Security Council members plus Germany took nearly two months to
clinch in three rounds of talks in Geneva last year.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said last week Iran is seeking a
comprehensive agreement so it can develop its battered economy,
inviting Western companies to seize opportunities now.
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Under the interim deal, which is valid for six months and can be
renewed, Iran agreed to suspend its most sensitive nuclear activity
in exchange for a limited easing of Western sanctions that are
damaging its oil-reliant economy.
(Reporting by Gabriela Baczynska in Moscow and Justyna Pawlak in
Brussels; writing by Steve Gutterman; editing by Alistair Lyon)
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