BAGHDAD, April 10 The next round of nuclear
talks aimed at resolving a standoff between the West and Iran
over its nuclear programme will be held in Baghdad following
this week's negotiations in Istanbul, Iraq said on Tuesday.
Iran agreed to renew discussions with the permanent members
of the U.N. Security Council - the United States, Russia, China,
Britain and France - plus Germany last month, more than a year
after previous talks failed.
Iraq said last Wednesday it had offered to host the nuclear
negotiations following a request from neighbouring Iran.
A statement on Iraq's Foreign Ministry website said all
parties had agreed to hold the next meeting in Baghdad.
"The group of 5+1, the European Union and the Islamic
Republic of Iran recently reached a settlement which includes
holding the next meeting on international nuclear negotiations
with Iran in Istanbul on April 14, provided that the following
meeting will be in Baghdad, with all sides in agreement," the
Iraq's Shi'ite-led government shares close ties with Iran,
which is jostling for more influence in the region against Sunni
Arab Gulf powers.
Iran has been cut off from global financial services and
embargoes have been imposed on its main export, oil, after
Washington and Brussels imposed the toughest ever sanctions when
previous nuclear talks collapsed.
The United States and its European allies suspect Iran of
covertly developing atomic weapons, accusations Tehran denies.
The Islamic state says it has a sovereign right to nuclear
activities, which it says are entirely civilian.
It accuses the nuclear-armed West of hypocrisy and of trying
to stifle its technological progress.
Israel has not ruled out a military strike against Iran if