Iran suggests Cairo for nuclear talks with powers: ISNA

DUBAI Wed Jan 23, 2013 5:32am EST

Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi speaks during a news conference following his meeting with Sheikh Ahmed Mohamed el-Tayeb, Egyptian Imam of al-Azhar Mosque, in Cairo January 10, 2013. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany

Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi speaks during a news conference following his meeting with Sheikh Ahmed Mohamed el-Tayeb, Egyptian Imam of al-Azhar Mosque, in Cairo January 10, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Mohamed Abd El Ghany

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DUBAI (Reuters) - Iran has suggested that the next round of nuclear talks with world powers should take place in Cairo, the ISNA news agency reported on Wednesday, citing the Islamic state's foreign minister.

"When I was in Egypt ... it was suggested that the next meeting be held in Cairo," Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi was quoted as saying by ISNA on Wednesday. "This issue was welcomed by our dear friends in Egypt and Egypt will consult with the P5+1 for hosting this meeting."

The last round of negotiations between Iran and six world powers, known collectively as the P5+1, over Tehran's disputed nuclear program was held in June 2012 in Moscow. Iranian media last week cited Geneva, Istanbul and "some other cities" as possible locations for talks.

Both Iran and P5+1 - the United States, Britain, France, Germany, China and Russia - say they want to resume talks.

However, the two sides' priorities diverge: the powers want to curb Iran's work to potentially develop atomic weapons, while Iran wants sanctions scrapped and their "rights" to enrich uranium formally recognized.

Three rounds of negotiations in 2012 failed to achieve a breakthrough in the decade-old dispute, which has the potential to trigger a new Middle East war. Iran denies it is pursuing weapons and says its program is purely peaceful.

(Reporting by Yeganeh Torbati; Editing by Alison Williams)

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