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Iran Welcomes Russian Proposal to Restart Nuclear Talks


Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, left, welcomes Russia's Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev for their meeting at the presidency office, in Tehran, Iran, August 16, 2011

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, left, welcomes Russia's Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev for their meeting at the presidency office, in Tehran, Iran, August 16, 2011

Iran has welcomed a Russian proposal to revive talks between Tehran and six world powers on Iran's controversial nuclear program.

Iran's nuclear negotiator, Saeed Jalili, told state media Tuesday the Russian plan could be a "basis" for restarting talks on nuclear activities. Jalili had met with Russia's National Security Council secretary, Nikolai Patrushev, earlier in the day.

The senior Russian official arrived in Tehran on Monday to discuss the nuclear issue.

Russia is trying to revive talks involving Iran and Western nations that are concerned Tehran is trying to develop nuclear weapons. Last month, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov presented a proposal calling for Iran to address the U.N. nuclear agency's concerns about the Iranian nuclear program and be rewarded with a gradual easing of sanctions.

In response to the proposal, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had said Iran was prepared to take steps to resolve its nuclear dispute with Western powers in return for reciprocal steps from the international community.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has said Iran did not cooperate with its investigation of Western allegations that Iran is trying to produce nuclear weapons. Iran says its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes.

Talks earlier this year between Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council - Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States and Germany - did not make progress.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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