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Iran, World Powers to Try to Break Negotiating Stalemate ‘Soon’

Jan. 4 (Bloomberg) -- Iran and world powers confirmed they’re in talks to restart stalled negotiations over the Persian Gulf nation’s nuclear projects.

The so-called P5+1 group, including China, France, Germany, Russia, the U.K. and U.S., will meet “very soon” with Iran, European Union spokesman Sebastien Brabant told reporters today in Brussels. Iran’s top nuclear negotiator, Saeed Jalili, said in New Delhi that he expected negotiations later this month, the Associated Press said.

The last round of negotiations broke down in June after two days of talks in Moscow failed to achieve a breakthrough that would alleviate the threat of military strikes against Iran’s atomic infrastructure. The U.S. and its allies say Iran has sought the capability to make atomic bombs. Iran, under dozens of international sanctions over its nuclear work, insists its program is peaceful.

After meeting with Indian government officials, Jalili said that while Iran was determined to continue using nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, it was prepared to strengthen its cooperation with UN atomic monitors.

International Atomic Energy Agency officials expect to complete an agreement that would give them wider access to suspected Iranian nuclear facilities when they travel to Tehran on Jan. 16, the IAEA’s chief inspector said last month. The IAEA investigation of Iran is in its 10th year.

`Red Line'

While Iran’s nuclear program hasn’t crossed the so-called “red line” that might trigger a military response, it remains Israel’s primary threat, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said yesterday, according to the Jerusalem Post. Netanyahu, facing an election in Israel this month, presented a cartoon of a short-fused bomb at the UN in September to illustrate the Iranian threat.

Iran and the P5+1 nations, led by EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, are trying to finalize “the modalities and the details” for the next meeting, Brabant said. Both sides have yet to confirm where the meeting will take place, AP cited Jalili as saying.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jonathan Tirone in Vienna at jtirone@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Hertling at jhertling@bloomberg.net

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