Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator, Saeed Jalili, has announced that he is prepared to pursue nuclear diplomacy with world powers.
Jalili met with the European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton in Istanbul. It follows a failed round of big power diplomacy in April, in the Kazakh city of Almaty.
Ashton oversees talks with Iran on behalf of the United States, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany.
It is these six major powers that want Tehran to reassure the world it is not seeking nuclear weapons; a goal which Iran denies.
Iran’s chief negotiator, Saeed Jalili told the conference: “Either before or after presidential elections in Iran – because these talks are national issues and beyond political factions, which all the people and political factions have supported”
Jalili recently declared himself as a candidate in the presidential race. The conservative is known for his loyalty towards Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s Supreme Leader who decides nuclear policy. The final list of all candidates is expected to emerge on May 23.
The United States and Israel have not ruled out military action if Iran does not suspends its nuclear work.
For now however, any movement in the decade-old standoff looks unlikely until after Iranians vote on June 14 for a successor to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.