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Iran announces venues for nuclear talks

TEHRAN, April 9 (UPI) -- Iran announced it was scheduling the first round of multilateral nuclear talks for April 14 in Turkey with a second round set for Iraq.

Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi announced Monday that Tehran wouldn't accept preconditions for multilateral nuclear negotiations with U.S., European and Asian officials. Talks, said Iran's Supreme National Security Council, would begin next weekend in Turkey.

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"Following several rounds of negotiations between the deputies of (SNSC secretary) Saeed Jalili and (EU foreign policy chief) Catherine Ashton, the two sides agreed to hold the first round of talks on Saturday, April 14 in Istanbul and the second round in Baghdad," a government statement was quoted by Iran's state-funded broadcaster Press TV as saying.

Iran is accused of pursuing the technology needed to produce a nuclear weapon, though the government maintains its intentions are peaceful. The International Atomic Energy Agency had said there were military aspects to certain parts of Iran's nuclear program, however.

Salehi said Iranian delegates would head to the negotiating table in Istanbul seeking common ground.

"Setting conditions before the meeting means drawing conclusions before negotiations, which is completely meaningless and none of the parties will accept conditions set before the talks," he added.

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Tehran said it would announce the schedule for the Baghdad talks after Saturday.

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