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Fri Feb 1, 2013 12:1AM
EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton (file photo)

EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton (file photo)

The European Union foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton expresses confidence that there will soon be a meeting between Iran and the P5+1 group. “I am confident there will be a meeting soon,” Ashton said on Thursday in Brussels, The Associated Press reported. Ashton represents the P5+1 group (the United States, France, Russia, Britain, China, and Germany) in the talks. On Wednesday, Iran’s Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said no new date or venue has been set for the next round of talks between Iran and the group. Iran and the P5+1 group have held several rounds of talks with a focus on Iran’s nuclear energy program. The last round of negotiations between Iran and the group was held in Moscow in June 2012. Tehran has announced that it welcomes the fact that the P5+1 group is ready to hold constructive talks with Iran. The United States, Israel, and some of their allies have repeatedly accused Iran of pursuing non-civilian objectives in its nuclear energy program. Iran rejects the allegations, arguing that as a committed signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), it is entitled to develop and acquire nuclear technology for peaceful purposes. In addition, the IAEA has conducted numerous inspections of Iran's nuclear facilities but has never found any evidence showing that the Iranian nuclear program has been diverted to nuclear weapons production. KA/HN
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