Iran to Hold Nuclear Talks with Istanbul

(ISTANBUL, TURKEY)

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad hopes that the nuclear standoff will reach a final result in the next Istanbul talks.

Iran will hold new nuclear talks with major powers in Istanbul, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Monday (May 09).

"Hopefully in the forthcoming talks in Istanbul we will take a few steps forward. The fact that they have come to an understanding that the continuation of dialogue is a progress that must be welcomed," Ahmadinejad told a news conference in Istanbul.

"I have explained many times the situation surrounding the nuclear talks here in Istanbul. It is very good to have dialogue. We do not think that our dialogue has failed. If the dialogue has failed Mrs. [Catherine] Ashton would certainly not go back to negotiation table," he added in reference to the European Union's top diplomat, Catherine Ashton.

After holding talks with his European Union counterpart in Geneva in February, Iran's Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi hoped nuclear negotiations with major powers would lead to further talks.

Iran's nuclear talks with major powers in January failed after the Islamic state rejected to halt its uranium enrichment, as demanded by the United Nations' Security Council. The United states and its European Allies fear Iran is trying to build atomic bomb under cover of its nuclear programm. Tehran denies it, saying it needs nuclear technology to generate electricity.

Ahmadinejad was in Istanbul for a United Nations conference on the least developed nations. Asked about the death of the al Qaeda leader, Osama Bin Laden, Ahmadinejad accused the United States of trying to spread violence to Pakistan.

"The one sided information provided by the United States concerning that incident (Bin Laden death). Another thing can be that they are going to spread conflict and violence to Pakistan. I want to warn Obama to learn from the experience of Bush and he should immediately pull out from our region. If he commits such a big mistake he would face a fate more shameful and doomed than Bush," he said.

The Iranian President also raised doubt about U.S. killing of Bin Laden.

"They should not play games with the destiny and faith of a nation. We have not yet received any clear picture to corroborate the claims of Americans. And no reliable resource can yet confirm or endorse their claims," he said.

Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was killed in a U.S.-led operation involving helicopters and troops on Sunday night (May 01) less than two hours' drive from Islamabad, putting Pakistani officials under pressure to explain how he could have lived so close to their capital.

Officials said bin Laden was killed inside a mansion near a Pakistani military training academy in the town of Abbotabad.


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