Despite rhetoric, Iran and US appear to be trying to restart Iran nuclear talks
Iranian Foreign Minister Salehi said that Tehran is willing to return to talks on Iran's nuclear program and that discussions have already begun about a date and location.
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Iran's foreign minister today warned other countries in the region that allying themselves closely with the United States would put them in a "dangerous position." But despite the ongoing rhetoric, the two countries seem to be trying to find a way to return to talks and Israel is toning down its own aggressive rhetoric.
"We want peace and tranquility in the region. But some of the countries in our region, they want to direct other countries 12,000 miles away from this region," said Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi during a visit to Turkey, according to Reuters. "I am calling to all countries in the region, please don't let yourselves be dragged into a dangerous position."
Reuters reports that earlier this week Saudi Arabia said it could increase its oil output if that became necessary – a likely scenario if the European Union finalizes an embargo on Iranian oil at a Jan. 23 meeting next week, which it appears likely to do.
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Iran, despite its fierce warnings, is showing a "new willingness to negotiate" ahead of the EU meeting and at a time when the US is moving toward implementation of a new law penalizing entities that deal with Iran's Central Bank, The New York Times reports.
Mr. Salehi said that Iran is "in touch" with world powers – Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia, and the US – about reopening talks on its controversial nuclear program, which have been frozen for a year. The Times reports that Salehi said that the date and site are already being discussed.
The US and the European Union both denied that they were considering talks, saying that they first needed proof that it was serious about allaying fears about nuclear weapon development, Reuters reports. Some Western diplomats believe that efforts to resume negotiations are simply a stalling tactic that would allow Iran more time to enrich uranium, according to the Times.