Brussels: Talks between world powers and
Iran on its controversial nuclear programme are expected to
resume January 20 in Istanbul, according to a spokeswoman for
European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton.
"It`s a tentative date we`re looking at," said
Ashton`s spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic. "We have positive
feedback from Iran."
A previous round of talks between Iran and six world
powers -- Britain, China, France, Russia, the United States
and Germany -- which were chaired by Ashton, took place in
Geneva on December 6-7. That round followed a 14-month hiatus
in the discussions.
The talks in the Turkish city were expected to last
one and half days, the spokeswoman added.
The EU has been invited by Tehran to tour its nuclear
sites, along with other nations.
But it said this week that it was up to UN inspectors
from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to carry
out the visits.
A spokesman for Ashton said last Wednesday that the EU
had received an invitation from Iran but added: "It is for the
IAEA to visit."
Iran`s foreign ministry said this week that
invitations to visit Iran`s nuclear sites in Natanz and Arak
had been sent to ambassadors of some of the nations
represented in the IAEA.
Diplomatic sources at the Vienna-based nuclear
watchdog said the invites had gone out to Russia, China, Egypt
and Cuba as well as to Hungary as rotating president of the
The EU official said the bloc had not answered the
letter and reiterated that the IAEA "are the people who have
to inspect the Iranian nuclear facilities."
IAEA sources said Britain, France, Germany and the US
were not on the list of countries invited to see the sites.