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02/16/12

EU studying Iran's letter on nuclear talks

Source: Radio Zamaneh

The European Union says it has received Iran's letter regarding renewed nuclear talks.

AFP reports that foreign policy spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic announced on Wednesday: "We have received the letter from [Iranian nuclear negotiator Saeed] Jalili today, in reply to the letter [EU foreign policy chief Catherine] Ashton sent to him in October 2011."

She said officials are "carefully studying" the letter's content and discussing it with their partners.

The details of the letter have not been revealed, but IRNA reported that Jalili sent a letter to Ashton on February 15 "welcoming the G5+1's willingness to resume talks aimed at taking fundamental steps toward cooperation, and announcing the Islamic Republic's readiness to continue the talks."

Jalili reportedly said in the letter that the success of the talks is hanging on "a constructive approach by the G5+1 to Iran's initiatives."

Jalili's missive is a response to a letter sent by Ashton in September calling for the resumption of "constructive" negotiations. She had written that new negotiations should not be a continuation of last year's talks in Istanbul.

At the time, Ashton expressed disappointment that the Istanbul meeting had brought nuclear negotiations with Iran to an impasse.

Despite repeated Western claims that Iran's nuclear program has a military component, Iran insists that its nuclear program is peaceful.

The nuclear disputes with Iran have intensified since November, when the International Atomic Energy Agency released a report indicating it can't be certain that Iran's nuclear program is fully peaceful.

In response, Western countries have begun a wave of sanctions against Iran, but Iran insists it will not stop its nuclear activities.

Yesterday, Iran unveiled domestically produced nuclear fuel rods for use in its nuclear reactors.

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