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Iran wants venue change for nuke talks

April 4, 2012 at 8:33 PM

TEHRAN, April 4 (UPI) -- Iran's foreign minister said Wednesday he is searching for a new location for planned talks with the U.N. Security Council about its nuclear program.

Ali Akbar Salehi said Istanbul is an acceptable venue for the talks with the United States, Britain, France, China, Russia and Germany, but he is considering other options, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Mohsen Rezai, the secretary-general of Iran's Expediency Council, said it would be more beneficial for Iran to have the talks "in another friendly country," the Iranian Labor News Agency said. Rezai said Iraq, Syria or Lebanon were more "appropriate locations" than Turkey, which during the past year has criticized Syrian President Bashar Assad, a close ally of Iran.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said it's important for the talks -- scheduled for April 13 and 14 -- not to be derailed by a potential location change.

"The situation is very complicated and could get worse," he told Russia's Interfax news agency. "We can't wait any more."

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