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Iran nuclear talks may take place in mid-November

By the CNN Wire Staff
Iranian foreign minister Manouchehr Mottaki speaks on Oct 9 during a press conference in Iran.
Iranian foreign minister Manouchehr Mottaki speaks on Oct 9 during a press conference in Iran.
  • Iran's foreign minister says November 15 has been suggested, news agencies report
  • Iran will meet with six world powers about its nuclear program
  • The talks have been stalled for a year

(CNN) -- Iran's foreign minister said nuclear talks with world powers could take place in mid-November, Iranian news agencies said Saturday.

Manouchehr Mottaki, in Brussels, Belgium for a meeting, said November 15 has been suggested for Iran's meeting with the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council -- the United States, Britain, France, China, and Russia -- and Germany. Collectively, the group is known as the P5 plus one.

"Both sides are now working on confirming it and agreeing on the location for the talks," Mottaki said, according to the semi-official Mehr News Agency.

Meanwhile, Iran delayed the start-up of its Bushehr nuclear plant because of technical problems, the official Islamic Republic News Agency said.

Mohammad Ahmadian, deputy director of the Atomic Energy Organization, said a leak in a pool in the middle of the reactor has been repaired but the plant will not be functional for another month, IRNA reported.

The Bushehr plant was opened on August 21 when engineers loaded 163 fuel rods into the reactor under the supervision of the IAEA. It is expected to produce 1,000 megawatts of electricity once all the fuel rods are loaded into the core of the reactor.

The United States and other world powers fear Iran is developing a nuclear program for military purposes. Iran denies those allegations.

Nuclear talks between Iran and the six powers have been stalled since October 1, 2009, when the two groups met in Geneva.

At that meeting, an short-lived fuel swap deal provided Iran with fuel for its research medical reactor in exchange for sending most of its enriched uranium out of the country.

But after initially accepting the deal, Iran backed out. During talks in May with Turkey and Brazil, Iran signaled it was willing to reconsider under modified terms.

Last month, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said an Iranian representative would meet with the P5 plus one group.

Yukiya Amano, the head of the United Nations nuclear watchdog has said that Iran has been cooperating somewhat with the agency but still has not provided information about possible military uses of its nuclear program.