EU's Ashton to discuss "next steps" with Iran negotiator

Reuters News

10/25/2012 1:52:10 PM - Reuters News

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton has agreed to discuss future steps in nuclear talks with Iran's chief negotiator, a spokeswoman said on Thursday.

It would be the first contact between Ashton and Iran's Saeed Jalili since EU governments imposed new sanctions on Tehran in mid-October, and could pave the way for a resumption in negotiations about Iran's atomic program.

"(There will be) a phone contact between the High Representative and chief Iranian nuclear negotiator Dr. Jalili in order to discuss the next steps in our negotiations," Maja Kocijancic said.

She did not say when the call between Ashton, who represents six global powers in dealings with Iran, and Jalili would take place. The planned discussions would follow preparatory talks among lower-level diplomats.

Ashton said earlier this month that she hoped to resume negotiations over Iran's nuclear program soon.

Tehran denies its nuclear work has any military dimension but governments in Europe and the United States are increasingly concerned over its intentions.

(Reporting by Justyna Pawlak; Editing by Rosalind Russell)