Iran proposes to reopen nuclear talks
Guardian / David Batty

Iran has proposed to reopen negotiations about its controversial nuclear programme with the US, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany.

The invitation by Iran's chief nuclear negotiator, Saeed Jalili, comes in the wake of new sanctions recently imposed by the UN over Tehran's uranium enrichment programme.

The last round of talks between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN security council and Germany – held in Istanbul in January – ended in failure.

"We formally declared to them [the intent] to return to the path of dialogue for cooperation," Jalili told Iranian diplomats in Tehran, according to the official IRNA news agency.

Iran's ambassador to Germany, Ali Reza Sheikh Attar, said earlier on Saturday that Jalili would write to the European Union's foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, to arrange a new round of talks.

The proposal for new negotiations came as there were conflicting reports as to whether Iran had tested long-range missiles during naval exercises in the Persian Gulf. Iran's state media initially reported early on Saturday that missiles had been launched – a move likely to worry the west, which is concerned over threats by Tehran to close a vital oil shipping route.

But Iranian deputy navy commander Mahmoud Mousavi later told Press TV that no missiles had been fired. "The exercise of launching missiles will be carried out in the coming days," he told the channel, owned by the state Islamic Repu... >>>

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