Catherine Ashton plans meeting with new Iranian foreign minister
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Catherine Ashton plans meeting with new Iranian foreign minister

EU foreign policy chief telephones Javad Zarif to congratulate him on his appointment, says talks needed ‘soon’

EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton (photo credit: AP/Alexander Zemlianichenko/File)
EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton (photo credit: AP/Alexander Zemlianichenko/File)

BRUSSELS — The European Union’s foreign policy chief says she will “soon” meet the new Iranian foreign minister amid the need for swift and substantial talks over Tehran’s disputed nuclear program.

Catherine Ashton’s office said the 28-nation bloc’s top diplomat called Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Saturday to congratulate him on his appointment.

Ashton says she and the nations negotiating with Iran on the nuclear issue — the five permanent UN Security Council members plus Germany — are looking forward to engaging with Tehran’s new negotiating team as soon as it is appointed to find a diplomatic solution.

The West fears that Iran’s nuclear program is aimed at making atomic weapons, and has imposed a series of sanctions. Iran insists it atomic program is for peaceful purposes only.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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