EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton has offered to mediate on nuclear talks between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council with the addition of Germany.Previous talks between the EU and Iran had stalled in January 2011.
Baroness Ashton has released a press release (pdf) that states that the time and venue of the talks is still to be agreed.
A second part of the release is addressed to Dr Saeed Jalili, the Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council in Iran, who had reached out to the EU hoping for renewed talks:
I am also convinced that, on the basis of Iran’s readiness to engage seriously and without pre-conditions in meaningful discussions on concrete confidence building steps concerning your nuclear programme, we will be able to open positive perspectives for negotiations and to make progress in efforts to take fundamental steps for sustainable co-operation which will allow us to overcome the existing deficit of confidence in the nature of the Iranian nuclear programme, and bring benefits for all sides.
Notably, the release does not make mention of Israel, who have used increasingly aggressive rhetoric in recent days due to their fear of an Iranian nuclear weapon.
AP reports that Iranian news sources say that UN inspectors will be allowed to visit the Parchin military facility, where many suspect secret nuclear tests are taking place.
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