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Six Powers to Meet to Discuss Iran Nuclear Dispute

FILE - EU High Representative for Foreign Policy Catherine Ashton
European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton will host a meeting of senior officials from six major powers in Brussels on Tuesday to discuss how to advance nuclear talks with Iran after the election of a new president, the EU said on Thursday.

Representatives from the United States, China, Russia, Britain, France and Germany will discuss “how to move forward in the Iran nuclear file. We are keen to make concrete progress in the talks following the election of the new president,” said Ashton's spokesman, Michael Mann.

The election last month of a relative moderate, Hassan Rouhani, as Iran's new president has raised hopes for a resolution of a long-running dispute with the West over Iran's nuclear program.

Russia voiced concern last week that no progress had been made in organizing new six-power talks with Iran. Tehran says its nuclear program is peaceful, but Western countries suspect it is aimed at developing the ability to build a nuclear bomb.

Western diplomats say the powers will have to wait for a new government to be formed in Iran before they can discuss a date for a new round of talks.

The last high-level talks between Iran and the six powers were held in the Kazakh city of Almaty in April, but they failed to end the deadlock.

“We put a very good offer on the table in Almaty. We are waiting for the Iranians to respond positively,” an EU source said.