Iran, world powers begin nuclear talks

GENEVA Tue Oct 15, 2013 4:06am EDT

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GENEVA Oct 15 (Reuters) - Six world powers and Iran started their first negotiations in six months on Tuesday, seen by many diplomats as a rare chance to begin resolving a decade-long dispute over Tehran's nuclear intentions.

The six nations - the United States, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany - will pressure Iran over the two-day meeting in Geneva to agree to scale back its nuclear programme in return for relief from economic sanctions.

"The talks have started," said one western diplomat.

During years of on-and-off diplomacy Iran has refused to do that, rejecting western suspicions that it seeks to achieve the ability to make weapons. But the election of moderate President Hassan Rouhani in June has raised hopes in the West that a deal could be possible, in part because of the crippling effect of sanctions on the Iranian economy.

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