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World powers to meet Iran in Istanbul this week

JTA

April 9, 2012 | 1:24 am

Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (second from the left) attends an unveiling ceremony of new nuclear projects in Tehran in this Feb. 15 file photo. Photo by IRAN-USA/NUCLEAR REUTERS/President.ir/Handout/Files

Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (second from the left) attends an unveiling ceremony of new nuclear projects in Tehran in this Feb. 15 file photo. Photo by IRAN-USA/NUCLEAR REUTERS/President.ir/Handout/Files

Nuclear negotiations between Iran and world powers will be held this week in Istanbul, European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton announced.

The talks announced Sunday are scheduled to be held April 14 in Istanbul and will include six world powers: the United States, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany.

Also on Sunday, Iran said it will not close its Fordo nuclear power facility, which is built deep into a mountain near the holy city of Oom, and it will not give up higher-level uranium enrichment, which are reported to be key demands that the world powers will present at the meeting.

Those demands are “irrational,” the head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, Fereydoon Abbasi Davani, told ISNA news agency in an interview published Sunday.

“If they do not threaten us and guarantee that no aggression will occur, then there would be no need for countries to build facilities underground. They should change their behavior and language,” he told the official news agency.

The demands were revealed Saturday in a front-page New York Times article, which quoted anonymous United States and European Union diplomats.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday that Iran is using the upcoming talks to “delay and deceive.”

He called for Iran to dismantle Oom, completely halt uranium enrichment and remove higher level enriched uranium from the country.

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