Iranian nuclear talks won't be held in Cairo due to instability

Iranian nuclear talks won't be held in Cairo due to instability

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Mon, 28/01/2013 - 20:47

Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said the 5+1 Group would not hold its upcoming negotiations over the Iranian nuclear program in Cairo, although Egypt had agreed to host the talks.

The 5+1 Group includes five permanent members of the UN Security Council — the United States, Britain, France, China and Russia — plus Germany.

Fathi al-Maraghy, professor of Iranian studies at Ain Shams University, said the group declined to meet in Cairo due to the unstable security situation.

Salehi said that Egyp-Iran relations have been marred by restrictions created over the past three decades, but there are prospects for improvement after the 25 January revolution, reported the Iranian Mehr News Agency.

The last round of negotiations between Iran and the six world powers was held in June 2012 in Moscow. Iranian media last week cited Geneva, Istanbul and "some other cities" as possible locations for the talks.

The priorities of Iran and the 5+1 Group diverge. The latter hopes to curb Iran's efforts to potentially develop atomic weapons, while Iran wants sanctions scrapped and the formal recognition of the country's "right" to enrich uranium.

Three rounds of negotiations in 2012 failed to achieve a breakthrough in the decade-old dispute, which has the potential to trigger a new Middle East war. Iran denies it is pursuing weapons building and says its program is purely peaceful.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm