Brussels: EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton has proposed reconvening long-stalled talks between world powers and Iran over its controversial nuclear programme in a month`s time, her spokesman said Saturday.
"It is from 15th to 18th of November," spokesman Darren Ennis said, if possible in Vienna. Ashton, who represents world powers in the nuclear dialogue with Iran, won a favourable response from Tehran after proposing November talks in the Austrian capital on Thursday.
"We have always said that dialogue on cooperation with the Islamic republic of Iran is the only option," top nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili told state television.
Dialogue between Iran and the group of 5+1 nations which Ashton represents -- Britain, China, France, Russia, the United States and Germany -- has been stalled since October 1, 2009, when the two groups met in Geneva.
Faced by deadlock, the United Nations Security Council on June 9 reinforced international economic sanctions, with the United States and EU taking separate measures -- all of which Tehran brushed off as having no impact. Sanctions notably ban investments in oil, gas and petrochemicals while also targeting banks, insurance, financial transactions and shipping.
The nuclear negotiations aim to address international suspicion that Iran is seeking to develop atomic weapons under the guise of a civilian nuclear programme, a charge Tehran vehemently denies.