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Officials meet on stalled Iran nuke talks

  |   Sept. 19, 2012 at 9:17 AM
ISTANBUL, Turkey, Sept. 19 (UPI) -- Negotiators for Iran and the West met for the first in three months seeking to revive stalled talks over Iran's nuclear enrichment policies, officials said.

The meeting, held Tuesday in Istanbul, Turkey, was not considered a formal negotiation, The New York Times reported.

Catherine Ashton, the European Union's top foreign policy official, and Saeed Jalili, the secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, last met June 20 in Moscow.

Ashton described the talks as "an important opportunity to stress once again to Iran the urgent need to make progress."

The International Atomic Energy Agency last week slammed Iran for denying inspectors full access to sites where Iran may be enriching nuclear fuel beyond levels needed to generate electrical power.

Iran responded by charging that "terrorists and saboteurs" had compromised IAEA. A senior atomic energy official said power lines to two main enrichment sites had been hit by explosions.

In a signal to Iran, a 30-nation, 12-day, mine-clearing exercise began Monday in the Persian Gulf. It is being led by the United States.

A private U.S.-based advocacy group said Tuesday it had launched an effort to force the organizations that assign international Internet addresses to block access to the Web by Iranian entities and persons.

United Against Nuclear Iran charged the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and the Reseaux IP Européens Network Coordination Centre (RIPE NCC) may be in violation of Iran sanctions by allowing Iran to pursue "its illegal and amoral activities."

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