Iran shifts P5+1 focus to Cairo

Jan. 23, 2013 at 9:47 AM

TEHRAN, Jan. 23 (UPI) -- The Iranian government said Wednesday that its leaders in Egypt have agreed to host the next round of multilateral nuclear negotiations.

Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said Wednesday that Cairo was in consultations with members of the P5+1 -- China, France, Great Britain, the United States, Russia and Germany -- on plans to host multilateral nuclear talks, state-funded broadcaster Press TV reports.

However, no date was given for the talks in Cairo.

International Atomic Energy Agency representatives concluded a two-day visit to Iran recently but left without gaining access to the controversial Parchin nuclear complex outside of Tehran. Iranian officials denied allegations it was hiding nuclear work there, however.

The IAEA said it was unable to determine if any of Iran's nuclear work had a military dimension. Tehran maintains its intentions are peaceful.

Turkey was suggested as a possible forum for P5+1 talks. Salehi shrugged off suggestions that moving the talks to Cairo was somehow a reflection of ties to Turkey.

"Turkey made great efforts as the previous host of the negotiations and held them in a very good manner," he was quoted as saying.

Salehi was quoted by the semiofficial Fars News Agency as saying Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was expected in Egypt in early February.

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