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Iran returning to nuclear talks next week

Jan. 11, 2011 at 10:14 AM   |   Comments

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TEHRAN, Jan. 11 (UPI) -- Iran said Tuesday it will resume nuclear talks with the international community next week in Istanbul.

"Both sides have reached consensus [to meet] on Jan. 21 and 22," Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast told the government's Press TV. The last round of talks ended Dec. 7 in Geneva.

He said Tehran and the P5+1 -- the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany -- will seek common ground for further cooperation.

Mehmanparast dismissed American efforts to step up regional pressure on Iran, the Kuwaiti news agency KUNA reported. After Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who is touring the region, called for more sanctions to stop Iran's nuclear program, he warned, the "U.S. vigorous campaign in the region to lift up pressure levels on Iran will not be fruitful."

Iran's recent invitation to foreign officials to visit its nuclear sites was a "positive, confidence-building" measure and separate from the talks, he said.

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