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Iran expects another round of nuclear talks

By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 1:13 PM EST, Sat December 31, 2011
Iran insists its nuclear program is peaceful but other world powers fear the country is intent on developing nuclear weaponry.
Iran insists its nuclear program is peaceful but other world powers fear the country is intent on developing nuclear weaponry.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: The EU says Ashton wrote Jalili in October but hasn't gotten a response
  • Iran and the West have been at odds for years over the nuclear program
  • Upset over more planned sanctions, Iran threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz
  • Germany and the U.N. Security Council will meet with Iran

(CNN) -- Another round of talks between Iran and world powers is expected to be held soon, Iran's ambassador to Germany said.

Alireza Sheikh Atta said the discussions will occur after Iran's Supreme National Security Council secretary Saeed Jalili submits a letter to European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, the semi-official Mehr news agency reported on Saturday.

Attar said negotiations have been held to prepare another round of talks between Iran and the so-called 5+1 group, which includes Germany and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council -- the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China.

"In addition to our recent letters to the European Union, we will soon send another letter and then a meeting will be arranged," Atta said, according to Mehr.

The move came after an International Atomic Energy Agency report highlighted new concerns about "the possible military dimensions of Iran's nuclear program," a British Treasury statement said.

Michael Mann, a spokesman for Ashton, said she wrote Jalili in October and hasn't received a response. He said the EU is "open for meaningful discussions on confidence-building measures, without preconditions from the Iranian side."

Iran and the West have been at odds for many years over the Islamic Republic's nuclear program.

Iran insists its nuclear program is peaceful but the world powers say Iran is intent on developing nuclear weaponry.

A recent International Atomic Energy Agency report highlighted new concerns about "the possible military dimensions of Iran's nuclear program."

Iran this week threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz over planned sanctions that would target its oil industry and companies that do business with Iran's Central Bank. The sanctions are intended to force Iran to curtail its nuclear program.

But Saturday, Iran's state-run broadcaster, Press TV, said the nation has no intention of closing the Strait.

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