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New Iran nuclear talks more likely in February: diplomat

Iranian workers stand in front of the Bushehr nuclear power plant, about 1,200 km south of Tehran in this October 26, 2010 file photo. REUTERS/Mehr News Agency/Majid Asgaripour/Files

BRUSSELS: The next round of talks between six major powers and Iran on Tehran's disputed nuclear programme is now more likely to take place in February rather than January, a European diplomat said on Friday.

European Union diplomats and Iranian officials have been holding discussions for months on arranging a new round of talks but EU officials say Iran has been stalling on fixing a date and location.

The Iranian Students' News Agency has reported that talks might resume on Jan. 28 and 29 and that Tehran has suggested Cairo as the venue, but the EU has said there was no agreement.

"It seems more likely now that the next round will take place in February," the European diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity, said.

"There is still no agreement on the next round, but contacts are ongoing," the diplomat added.

EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton coordinates efforts by six world powers -- the United States, China, Russia, Britain, France and Germany -- to persuade Iran to scale back nuclear work that the West suspects is aimed at developing the capability to build a nuclear bomb. Tehran says its programme is peaceful.

 

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