Iran's Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi says Tehran and the six major world powers (the P5+1) will hold a fresh round of negotiations on April 13, adding that the venue for the talks will be announced soon.
“Istanbul has expressed its readiness to host these talks and is still one of the probable options for hosting these negotiations,” Salehi told IRNA on the sidelines of a welcoming ceremony for Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Tehran on Wednesday.
“I personally believe that Istanbul is the better option for hosting the negotiations but making the decision on this matter is the responsibility of Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Mr. Saeed Jalili," who will soon announce the choice of location, he added.
The Iranian minister noted that European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton has also been in contact with Turkish officials to fix a venue for the talks between Tehran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council - Russia, China, Britain, France and the US, plus Germany.
“We hope the venue for the talks will be determined within the next few days,” Salehi stated.
Heading a high-ranking politico-economic delegation, Erdogan arrived in Iran’s capital of Tehran early Wednesday for talks with senior Iranian officials.
Senior Iranian and Turkish officials are due to exchange views on mutual relations as well as the latest developments in the Middle East. They are also likely to discuss issues regarding Iran's nuclear energy.
Iran and the P5+1 have held two rounds of multifaceted talks, one in Geneva in December 2010 and another in the Turkish city of Istanbul in January 2011.
Tehran says it is ready to resume the talks based on common grounds; however, it has repeatedly made clear that it will not negotiate on any of its nuclear rights.
Iran maintains that, as a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency, it has every right to acquire and develop nuclear technology for peaceful objectives.