Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Iran agrees date for nuclear talks in move welcomed by US

Updated on : Tuesday, September 15, 2009

TEHRAN: Iran agreed on Monday to hold talks with six world powers next month on its latest proposals to allay concerns over its nuclear programme, in a move Washington welcomed as an "important first step."

EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana spoke by telephone with Iran's top nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili and they agreed that talks would be held on October 1 between Iran and representatives of the six powers.

"Iran is ready for a serious dialogue in October," Jalili said.

"This morning we reached an agreement with the Iranians to hold a meeting on October 1," Solana's spokeswoman said. A European diplomatic source said the talks will probably take place in Europe.

Washington welcomed Tehran's agreement to have talks with the six governments -- Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States.

State Department spokesman Ian Kelly said the six will have a chance to present a "united front" and that they would push for more transparency from Iran.

"We are united in this common goal of getting the... the Iranians to introduce more transparency into their nuclear programme," Kelly told reporters in Washington.

"We have an opportunity here to present a united front... to show that the international community wants them to abandon... any plans they have for a militarization of their nuclear programme," he said.

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