NPR logo Iran Tells EU It Is Willing To Resume Nuclear Talks


Iran Tells EU It Is Willing To Resume Nuclear Talks

EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton said she received a letter from Tehran as she arrived for the second day of a European Union summit on Friday in Brussels, Belgium. Georges Gobet/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Georges Gobet/AFP/Getty Images

Iran has notified the European Union it is willing to restart talks about its nuclear program after Nov. 10.

State media report that Iran's Supreme National Security Council said in a letter Friday to the EU's foreign policy chief that Iran is ready to hold talks "in a place and on a date convenient to both sides."

The negotiations between Iran and a group of six nations that includes the United States foundered a year ago over a deal meant to ensure Iran could only use its stockpile of enriched uranium for fueling nuclear power stations and not for building bombs.

In Brussels, the EU confirmed it had received the letter. EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton called the move "very significant."

Ashton, the United Nations-appointed mediator on the nuclear issue, has been trying all year to get the Iranian government back to he table. She said that as she arrived for the second day of an EU summit Friday morning, she received the message from Iranian negotiator Saeed Jalili.

"He is agreeable to beginning discussions after the 10th of November," Ashton said. "We're now in touch with Iran this morning to see whether we can agree on the time and place as quickly as possible."

Earlier this month, Ashton suggested that talks could begin Nov. 15 in Vienna between Iran and the so-called P5+1, which comprises the U.N. Security Council members and Germany. The group is trying to get Tehran to abandon key aspects of its nuclear program that could be used for weapons.

Previous rounds of negotiations between the Iranians and the P5+1 have never even managed to settle what aspects of its nuclear program Tehran would be willing to discuss in further talks.

NPR's Teri Schultz reported from Brussels, Belgium , for this story, which contains material from The Associated Press