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.


Corbyn criticised over Syria air strike rejection

Turkey protests against journalist arrests

Turkey seeks to ease tensions with Moscow

Tunisia to rethink anti-IS strategy

Saudi women begin first-ever election campaign

Russia prepares retaliation against Turkey

Cameron pushes for Britain to join Syria air strikes

Erdogan denies buying oil from IS

Lavrov says no war with Turkey after 'planned provocation'

Tunisia under state of emergency

Missing Iranian diplomat found dead in Saudi

Heavy Russia raids at site of Syria plane crash

Tunisia declares state of emergency after terrorist attack in heart of capital

Bahrain calls HRW torture report 'misleading'

Syria, Russia foreign ministers set Moscow talks

Rival Libya tribes sign peace deal to end months of fighting

Turkey reveals new cabinet of Erdogan allies

Turkey downs Russia Su-24 fighter jet on Syria border

Hopes fade away as Sudan peace talks break without deal

At least 6 dead in Libya bomb attack

Somali pirates seize Iran fishing boat with 15 crew

ISIS suicide bombers kill four in assault on Sinai hotel

Kerry visits Israel with scant hopes for major breakthrough

Hollande heads to Washington to seek support for war on ISIS

Brussels extends terror alert as US issues worldwide travel warning

UAE blames Islamists for delay in military operation in Taez

Egypt kills 5 Sudanese migrants near border with Israel

Anti-Muslim hate crimes rise 300 percent in Britain

Russia eases restrictions on nuclear cooperation with Iran

Gulf leaders to hold annual summit on December 10

Ex-Gathafi Minister arrested over murder of UK policewoman

UK boosts military spending as pressure grows to join anti-ISIS strikes

Israel bars Palestinians from West Bank settlement bloc

Iraq suspends northern flights due to danger posed by Russia missiles

Syria army advances against ISIS in central province of Homs

Pro-Kurdish leader escapes assassination attempt in Turkey

Tunisia group claims beheading of young shepherd on behalf of ISIS

Kerry arrives in Abu Dhabi for Syria discussions

Three Palestinians killed as fresh violence hits West Bank

Iran arrests ISIS-linked cell near Iraq border

Brussels remains on high alert for second day in a row

Israel seeks to strip citizenship of those who join ISIS

France warns Libya as ISIS gains ground

Fear escalates as ISIS edges closer to Syria Christian town

Iran sentences reporter Jason Rezaian to prison