The European Union’s top diplomat Catherine Ashton has accepted an Iranian offer for nuclear talks on behalf of the five permanent members of the UN Security council plus Germany.
Although no date or venue have been set, the move appears to be a boost to efforts to find a diplomatic solution to Iran’s disputed nuclear programme.
The last round of talks ended in frustration for the 5+1 group more than a year ago.
“I think if negotiations are held just for the sake of negotiating they won’t be fruitful, but if they are held with the approach of finding a reasonable solution within the framework of the Non Proliferation Treaty it will be definitely effective,” said political analyst Mosayyeb Naimi.
Iran insists there is no military element to its programme but Western powers fear it is constructing nuclear weapons.
A year long diplomatic vacuum has stoked fears of war with fresh speculation of a pre-emptive military strike against Iran.
Monitors from the UN’s nuclear watchdog the IAEA were denied entry to one suspected research site only last month.