First Published: 2013-01-24

 

Tehran drags Cairo into its controversial nuclear file

 

Egypt has yet to decide whether it will host talks between Iran, world powers on Tehran's controversial nuclear programme.

 

Middle East Online

Iran seeking to court Morsi

CAIRO - Egypt has yet to decide whether it will host talks between Iran and world powers on Tehran's controversial nuclear programme, the official MENA news agency reported on Thursday, quoting a diplomat.

"Cairo has always welcomed in principle anything that can help to sustain stability in the Middle East," but "nothing definite has been decided yet" about hosting the talks, the unidentified diplomat said.

"Contacts are under way on this issue."

On Wednesday, Iran proposed Cairo as the venue for the next talks with the five permanent UN Security Council members -- Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States, plus Germany, known collectively as the P5+1.

Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said that Cairo had welcomed the idea of hosting the talks.

World powers are keen to see a speedy resumption of the dialogue.

"We want to see Iran come back to the negotiating table as soon as possible so that we can make concrete progress towards dealing with the international community's concerns about the Iranian nuclear programme," said a spokesman for EU foreign policy Catherine Ashton on Wednesday.

Ashton represents the P5+1 group of powers in talks with Iran on its nuclear programme.

Consultations between Tehran and the group were ongoing, said her spokesman Michael Mann, with the nations "still hoping to reach agreement with Iran on the modalities of the talks, including venue, with a view to resuming talks shortly."

Another European source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that "several venues have been proposed."

"We do not exclude any, but Iran is proposing different venues all the time. The venue is not the issue, but Iran appears to be trying to delay the process by coming up with new conditions."

At the most recent talks, in Moscow last June, Tehran rejected P5+1 calls for it to scale back its uranium enrichment activities, while also asking for relief from sanctions that began to bite in 2012.

The West accuses Tehran of working towards acquiring atomic weapons under the guise of its civilian nuclear programme, a charge Iran vehemently denies.

 

US says Assad may be preparing another chemical attack

Over 8,000 migrants rescued in Med in 48 hours

Yemen cholera outbreak shows signs of slowing

Rouhani seizes opportunity to get closer to Qatar

Eid revives Tunisian tradition of pastry making

Hamas says travel documents for sick Gazans being refused

Former Syrian defence minister Mustafa Tlass dies in Paris

Iran says US reinstating travel ban 'regrettable'

GCC construction outlook to improve with oil prices recovery and implementation of reforms

57 dead in US-led strikes on IS Syria prison

Kremlin denounces US ‘threats’ against Assad

Mattis says US wants to steer clear of war in Syria

Mali activists call for referendum to be abandoned

Iraq forces battle deep into devastated Old Mosul

Iraqi forces control two thirds of Mosul Old City

Banned Bahraini newspaper fires staff

New crown prince widely welcomed in Saudi Arabia

Assad leads Eid prayers in Syria’s Hama

Lone-wolf attacks raise concern about new trend in terror

Erdogan slams Saudi demands of Qatar as illegal

Sudan making 'positive' steps on meeting US sanctions terms

Mecca suicide bombing injures six

Gulf crisis heats up as Qatar receives list of demands

Suicide attacks kill at least three people in Mosul

Civilians killed in Iraq suicide bomb attacks

UN warns Yemen cholera outbreak could infect 300,000 by September

Putin launches deep-water phase of TurkStream pipeline

Berlin warns Ankara against meddling in religious affairs

Asian states downplay 'Russia proposal' to send troops to Syria

Iran’s Salehi urges West to save historic nuclear deal

Iran, allies mark Jerusalem Day with rallies

US-led Syria strikes kill 472 civilians in one month

Morocco dismantles 'IS-linked cell plotting tourist attacks'

France sets out tough new anti-terror law

Russia warships, submarine strike IS targets in Syria

Trump-Saudi ties help pave way for new Saudi crown prince

Makeshift clinic saves lives near Syria’s Raqa

Egyptian fuel helps restart Gaza power station

Rights groups say Morocco protest leader 'severely beaten' during arrest

5 killed in Mogadishu car bomb attack

UN experts urge Egypt to halt executions after 'flawed trials'

Qatar emir congratulates newly-appointed Saudi crown prince

Kushner hails 'productive' Palestine-Israel talks

Macron says removing Assad no longer priority in Syria

Turkey sends first aid ship to isolated ally Qatar