Iran says nuclear experts to hold talks in New York
Tehran: Iran and world powers will resume technical talks next month in New York ahead of further negotiations on a lasting nuclear deal, a senior Iranian official said Saturday.
The talks will take place from May 5 to 9 on the sidelines of a Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) review conference that is to be held at the United Nations, deputy foreign minister Abbas Araqchi told the state broadcaster IRIB.
He said the Iranian delegation will be led by Hamid Baeedinejad, like previous rounds, without providing further details.
The meeting will come a few days before a new round of talks between Iran and the so-called P5+1 group of world powers, set to begin May 13, that seeks a comprehensive agreement over Tehran`s disputed nuclear activities.
The sides met in Vienna last week, with negotiators from Iran and the five permanent UN Security Council members-- the United States, Russia, China, Britain and France -- plus Germany agreeing to "move to the next phase" of their talks.
They will now move to draft the final accord, after clinching an interim deal in November under which Iran froze some nuclear activities in return for minor relief from painful Western sanctions.
A lasting deal may involve Iran slashing its number of centrifuges -- used to enrich uranium -- changing the design of a new reactor at Arak and giving UN inspectors more oversight.
Tehran has said in recent weeks it would need further, more powerful centrifuges to feed nuclear plants it says it hopes to build in the future.
Western nations and Israel have long suspected Iran of secretly pursuing nuclear weapons alongside its civilian programme, charges adamantly denied by Tehran.