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Iran's nuclear program subject of two discussions

May 15, 2013 at 8:18 AM   |   Comments

TEHRAN, May 15 (UPI) -- Iran's nuclear program isn't expected to affect the country's presidential elections next month, Iran's top nuclear negotiator said Wednesday.

Iran's top nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili was to meet with European Union policy leader Catherine Ashton in Istanbul, Turkey, Wednesday, Voice of America reported.

Meanwhile, the United Nations' nuclear watchdog was to conduct another round of talks with Iranian officials Wednesday in Vienna as investigators try to gain access to Iran's nuclear facilities and documents, Voice of America reported.

The meeting in Istanbul between Jalili and Ashton follows an unsuccessful round of negotiations in April involving the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, plus Germany, which are pushing for Iran to stop some of its uranium enrichment activity. In opposition, Iran has demanded its right to enrich uranium be recognized.

"We presented some specific proposals in Almaty II [the talks in early April] based on defending our nuclear rights and even they accepted to study them and provide a response within a few days," Jalili said Wednesday in Istanbul before he began his talks with Ashton.

Jalili said he didn't think the nuclear issue would have any effect on the June elections, Iran's government-backed Fars News Agency reported.

"The nuclear issue is a national and cross-faction issue which is agreed by all groups and parties and the presidential election will not affect it," he said.

The U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency, concerned about Iran's potential development of nuclear weapons, wants to visit facilities such as the Parchin military site as part of its inspection into the republic's nuclear work. Iran has maintained that Parchin is a standard military facility and its nuclear program has only peaceful purposes.

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