- Weekly report on Human Right Violation in Iran
- Vahid Asghari refused to appear in the court
- Akbar Amini the political activist arrested
- Behnam Ibrahimzadeh summoned to return prison
- Arash Sadeghi’s hunger strike continues
- Two Kurds die of self-immolation
- Israel won't accept less than total halt of Iran's nuclear enrichment
- Rowhani vows 'moderation,' but won't halt nuclear program
- Israel will do everything to prevent another Holocaust
- Iran takes key step in nuclear reactor construction
- Iran Candidate Attacks Jalili’s ‘Stubborn’ Nuclear Diplomacy
- UN nuclear chief blasts Iran for leading IAEA 'in circles'
- Iran’s women discriminated against by law
- Women, Law and Sexuality in Iran
- Iranian women are second-class citizens
- Women skirt Iranian music ban with fancy dress
- Religious leaders ban 30 women from running for Iran's presidency
- Iranian cleric: Women can't be president in Iran
- Report: Iran sending 4,000 troops to aid Assad
- Syria: North Korean military 'advising Assad regime'
- Iran cuts Hamas’ funding for backing Syrian opposition
- Neighbors in Lebanese city fight Syrian proxy war
- Hezbollah takes Syria risk at Iran's behest: experts
- Iranian troops are fighting in Syria, says US
Friday 13 April 2012
ISTANBUL, April 13 (Reuters) - Iran's chief nuclear negotiator arrived in Istanbul on Friday for his first talks with the world powers in more than a year aimed at easing mounting international tension over the Islamic state's atomic activities.
Iranian state television showed footage of Saeed Jalili, who heads the country's delegation for the April 14 talks, getting into a car at the airport of Turkey's biggest city.
Saturday's meeting is widely seen as a chance for the six major powers - the United States, France, Russia, China, Britain and Germany - and Iran to start halting a downward diplomatic spiral and help avert the threat of a new Middle East war.
The West accuses Iran of seeking to develop a nuclear weapons capability and Israel has hinted at military strikes to prevent its arch foe from obtaining such arms.
Iran, which has come under increasingly tough Western sanctions targeting its oil exports, says its nuclear programme is peaceful and has repeatedly ruled out suspending it.
Diplomats and analysts played down any expectations for any major breakthrough in the first round of discussions, but say the meeting may pave the ground for further negotiations aimed at resolving the long-running dispute.
"The head of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, Saeed Jalili, arrived in Istanbul on Friday and was welcomed by local officials as well as Iran's envoy to Turkey, Bahman Hosseinpour," Iran's official IRNA news agency said.
Jalili headed a four-member Iranian delegation, state television said. Iranian news agencies said his deputy Ali Baqeri would hold talks with Russian and Chinese officials later on Friday.
The formal talks with the six powers and their chief representative, European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, will get underway on Saturday, but Ashton and Jalili are expected to meet over dinner on Friday evening.
The last time the two sides met, also in Istanbul in January last year, they could not even agree an agenda.
"It's excellent that these talks are finally going ahead, more than a year since we last met," Ashton's spokesman Michael Mann said. "We hope that this first round will produce a conducive environment for concrete results through a sustained process." (Reporting by Zahra Hosseinian, Justyna Pawlak and Jonathan Burch; Writing by Fredrik Dahl; Editing by Jon Hemming)