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Iran makes offer to restart nuclear program talks

Washington, Thu, 19 Jan 2012 ANI

Washington, Jan 19 (ANI): Iran has reportedly expressed readiness to return to negotiations over its nuclear program.


Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said that Iran would like to restart talks in Turkey with the diplomatic bloc of world powers that has been involved in the negotiations effort.


The grouping comprises the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany, and is known as the P5+1.


Salehi's comments came amid heightened tensions over sanctions against Iran and a threat by Tehran to block vital oil shipping route Strait of Hormuz.


According to The Wall Street Journal, US officials said EU foreign-policy chief Catherine Ashton, who heads the P5+1 bloc, sent a letter to Iran's chief nuclear negotiator, Saeed Jalili, last month requesting a resumption of talks.


US officials said on Wednesday that Iran had yet to respond.


"If the Iranians are serious about restarting talks then they need to respond to that letter. That is the channel by which...the restarting of those talks would take place," the paper quoted White House spokesman Jay Carney, as saying.


Meanwhile, Iran's Parliament member Ali Motahari, a vocal critic of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, told Iranian media that US President Barack Obama had sent a letter directly to Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warning over the strait and proposing talks.


US officials, however, denied that claim, saying that a channel for communications was already in place through Ashton's offices. (ANI)


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