Wed Sep 19, 2012 4:4AM
Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council Saeed Jalili (L) walks with European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton at the consulate of Iran in Istanbul to attend a meeting on September 18, 2012.

Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council Saeed Jalili (L) walks with European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton at the consulate of Iran in Istanbul to attend a meeting on September 18, 2012.

Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council Saeed Jalili and EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, who represents the P5+1 group, have met in a follow-up to their previous negotiations on Iran’s nuclear energy program. The meeting took place in the Turkish city of Istanbul late on Tuesday. "While it was not a formal negotiating round, it was a useful and constructive meeting,” said Ashton’s spokesman Michael Mann. Ashton will meet with the foreign ministers of the P5+1 group - Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States plus Germany - on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York next week “in order to assess the situation and to discuss the way forward,” her office said after the Tuesday talks. Ashton and Jalili last met in Moscow in June. At the heart of the Moscow negotiations was Iran’s nuclear energy program, with Tehran standing firm on its inalienable right to enrich uranium for peaceful purposes. The Moscow talks were followed by a day-long meeting between the deputies to Jalili and Ashton, Ali Baqeri and Helga Schmid, held in Istanbul on July 24. Iran argues that as a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and a member of the IAEA, it is entitled to develop and acquire nuclear technology for peaceful purposes. MHB/AR/PKH/HJL
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