Solana: Meeting on Iran Nuclear Issues Probably in Turkey

On Tuesday, European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana said, negotiations next month between Iran and six world powers on Tehran's nuclear programme will obviously be held in Turkey.

The talks from October 1 will "very likely" be held in Turkey, Solana told reporters in Brussels ahead of EU foreign ministers' talks.

The five UN Security Council permanent members -- the United States, Russia, China, Britain and France -- plus Germany are due to take part in the talks with Iran's top nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili.

"At this point in time, we are going to try to enter into a negotiation," said Solana, stressing the "double-track approach," -- the carrot and stick of trade, aid and sanctions.

It will be the first high-level meeting since the Obama administration took over in the United States and initiated its more open policy towards Tehran, a European diplomatic source said.

The last encounter, with the United States taking part, was in July 2008 in Geneva.

The meeting comes after Iran submitted a document to world powers laying out its position on resolving several global security problems. The text said the Islamic republic was ready to enter into negotiations on a number of issues.

Western nations are calling on Iran to halt its uranium enrichment drive which they suspect is for making atomic weapons.

Tehran denies the charges and says its nuclear programme has peaceful goals, AFP reports.

It was also reported, in Washington, State Department spokesman Ian Kelly said Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs William Burns — who was at last year's Geneva talks as an observer — would again represent the U.S.

Washington's decision to talk with Iran appeared to be part of an attempt to preserve some six-power unity. Permanent Security Council members Russia and China have blocked Western attempts at tougher sanctions against Iran, so the agreement to drop insistence on an enrichment freeze and meet with Tehran without preconditions seemed gauged to keep Moscow and Beijing on board.

Sweden's Foreign Minister Carl Bildt, whose country holds the EU presidency said "it's much too early to discuss at the moment" a push for new sanctions, the Associated Press reports.

Bloomberg quoted Finnish Foreign Minister Alexader Stubb as saying, “If we can’t get them from the UN, then we will do it unilaterally through the EU,” EU sanctions would come only if diplomacy with Iran fails, he said.

Britain and France are leading the push for stiffer sanctions within the EU, and are trying to drum up support for the 27-nation bloc to act alone in case Russia or China blocks penalties at the UN level.

“ We are extremely vigilant about what is going on in Iran,” French European affairs minister, said yesterday. “We can’t let this situation go on for too long and will probably have to use pressure,” Bloomberg reports.

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