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Iran Says Nuclear Talks May Resume Next Week

Iran's Foreign Minister Manoucher Mottaki speaks at a news conference in Tehran (file photo)

Iran has offered to resume nuclear talks with world powers as early as next week, after pushing for the venue to be changed to its ally, Turkey.

Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said Tuesday that Tehran is ready to resume talks on its nuclear program with the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council and Germany, a group known as the P5+1.

Iran's Mehr news agency quotes Mottaki as saying officials are considering November 15 as the start date for negotiations.

Mottaki also said P5+1 leaders should change from a confrontational approach toward Iran to one of cooperation in upcoming talks. He commented at the end of an Asian cooperation dialogue forum in Tehran.

On Sunday, Mottaki raised the possibility of resuming nuclear talks, saying Iranian officials had been in touch with Turkish officials and were hopeful of reaching an agreement soon. News agencies report Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Tuesday no definite date has been set for talks.

Recently, European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton proposed a three-day meeting with Iran in Vienna. Iranian officials never formally agreed to any details.

The United States and other Western powers believe Iran is using its nuclear program to develop nuclear weapons, a charge Iran denies.

On Monday, the U.N. nuclear chief said he could not confirm that all aspects of Iran's nuclear program are peaceful. International Atomic energy Agency chief Yukiya Amano said Iran had not provided the necessary cooperation to allow his agency to confirm that all of its nuclear material is for peaceful purposes.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.