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Iran Seeks New Talks on Disputed Nuclear Program

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, center, makes his way during a departure ceremony for him as he leaves the country for Turkey to attend an international conference in Tehran, Iran, May 9, 2011.

Iran says it has informed the European Union that it will accept a proposal for more talks about the country's controversial nuclear program.

Iranian state media report Tuesday that chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili welcomed the return to negotiations with world powers, in a response to a letter sent by EU top diplomat Catherine Ashton in February.

There was no immediate EU response. Talks stopped in January after Iran refused to discuss a uranium enrichment freeze. The EU has said it is open to resuming talks without conditions on discussions.

Jalili called on Tuesday for talks based on "respect for nation's rights and avoidance of pressure."

The letter comes a day after Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said the Islamic Republic hoped for a new round of nuclear negotiations to be held in Turkey. Ahmadinejad did not announce a date for the talks with six world powers.

Iran is facing international sanctions over its disputed nuclear program. Some Western nations suspect Iran is enriching uranium as part of a nuclear weapons program. Tehran has insisted its nuclear program is peaceful.

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

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