High level EU and Iranian officials to meet over nuclear program

High level EU and Iranian officials to meet over nuclear program

Deputies to negotiate before top-level ‘contact’ aimed at curbing Tehran’s nuclear ambitions

Catherine Ashton (photo credit: courtesy EU)
Catherine Ashton (photo credit: courtesy EU)

VIENNA (AP) — A European Union official says EU and Iranian representatives will meet July 24 to discuss whether there is enough common ground to restart stalled talks over Tehran’s nuclear program.

Michael Mann says Helga Schmid, a deputy to EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, will meet with Ali Bagheri, Iran’s deputy nuclear negotiator.

The statement Monday by Mann, Ashton’s spokesman, said the two would see how gaps could be narrowed. Their meeting will then be followed by a “contact” between Ashton and chief Iranian nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili.

The U.S. and five other world powers want Iran to curb nuclear enrichment, which can produce both reactor fuel and nuclear warhead material. Iran refuses, saying its enrichment is only for peaceful purposes.

Recent high-level talks convened by Ashton failed to narrow differences.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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