Tehran supports idea of holding nuclear talks in Turkey

Fri 13 Jan 2012 01:48 GMT | 05:48 Local Time

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Iran's parliamentary speaker on Thursday said he believed that the standoff over his country's nuclear program can be solved through serious talks.

Ali Larijani told a news conference after meeting Turkish leaders in Ankara that Tehran supports the idea of holding further talks in Turkey. Saeed Jalili, Iran's top nuclear negotiator, recently said he had called on six powers - the US, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany - to resume talks.

"I believe all issues can be easily solved through negotiations," Larijani told a news conference. "But this time, we want the talks to be serious, it should not be fake."

Also on Thursday, diplomats said a senior U.N. nuclear agency team will visit Tehran on Jan. 28 with Iran saying it is ready after years of refusal to discuss allegations that it was involved in secret nuclear weapons work.

Diplomats have previously said that International Atomic Energy Agency officials were discussing such a trip with their Iranian counterparts. But before the diplomats' comments Thursday, no date - or indication that Iran was ready to talk about the allegations - had been mentioned.

Larijani, meanwhile, blamed Israel for a series of assassinations of its nuclear experts - the latest Wednesday, when scientist Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan was killed by a bomb attached to his car by a passing bicyclist.

"We have a very active young generation of scientists. If Israel thinks it can stop these works by four acts of terror, it is very mistaken," Larijani said.

"Turkey does not feel it is bound by any sanctions taken unilaterally or as a group, other than those imposed by the United Nations," Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Selcuk Unal told a news conference, which followed a meeting between Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and Iran's parliamentary speaker, Ali Larijani.

Turkey said it would evaluate the content of the US sanctions, but Turkey's biggest crude oil importer Tupras already has renewed a contract to continue to import crude oil from Iran in 2012.

"Right now, our import is continuing and as of today there is no change to our plans," Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said on Thursday.

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