Iran and the P5+1 group of world powers have agreed to hold the next round of talks mainly over Tehran’s nuclear energy program in Kazakhstan on February 26. The agreement was reached during a telephone conversation between European Union deputy foreign policy chief Helga Schmid and the deputy secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, Ali Baqeri, on Tuesday. Earlier on Sunday, Iran’s Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi had said that the next round of the comprehensive talks between Iran and the P5+1 - China, Russia, France, Britain, and the US plus Germany - would be held in Kazakhstan on February 25, 2013.
Iran and the P5+1 have held several rounds of talks with the main focus on the Iranian nuclear energy program. The last round of the negotiations between the two sides was held in Moscow in June 2012.The United States, Israel, and some of their allies have repeatedly accused Iran of pursuing non-civilian objectives in its nuclear energy program. Iran argues that as a 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 energy program has been diverted to non-civilian aspects. YH/MA/HJL