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Iran's Top Negotiator Arrives in Istanbul to Meet P5+1 Representative.

Jalili and Ashton will meet in Istanbul today to follow up to the last round of talks between Iran and the Group 5+1 (US, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany) held in Almaty, Kazakhstan, on April 5-6.

Last month, Iran and the G5+1 wrapped up two days and four rounds of intensive negotiations in Almaty after the delegations of the world powers demanded further consultations with their capitals.

The Iranian team was led by Jalili and the G5+1's representatives were presided by Ashton.

Following the Almaty talks, former Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehman-Parast described the meetings with the world powers in Kazakhstan as "positive", and said Tehran is waiting for the opposite side's response to its proposals.

"The two sides' comments described as positive the start of straightforward and serious expression of views, and to take a correct step, our officials expressed their views and the Group 5+1 (the five permanent UN Security Council members plus Germany) should now respond," Mehman-Parast said at a weekly press conference in Tehran.

"We are (now) waiting for Mrs. Ashton's response and her consultations with the G5+1," he added.

Iran had announced a day prior to the start of the talks that it would enter the negotiations with the G5+1 with clear, groundbreaking proposals.

Iran has so far ruled out halting or limiting its nuclear work in exchange for trade and other incentives, saying that renouncing its rights under the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) would encourage the world powers to put further pressure on the country and would not lead to a change in the West's hardline stance on Tehran.

Iran is under four rounds of UN Security Council sanctions for turning down West's calls to give up its right of uranium enrichment. The United States and the European Union have ratcheted up their sanctions on Iran this year to force it to curb its nuclear program.

Iranian officials have always shrugged off the sanctions, saying that pressures make them strong and reinvigorate their resolve to further move towards self-sufficiency.

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Publication:Moj News Agency (Tehran, Iran)
Geographic Code:9KAZA
Date:May 15, 2013
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