IAEA: Iran agrees to nuclear talks

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VIENNA. April 9. KAZINFORM Nuclear talks will resume this week in Turkey between Iran and six world powers, the U.N. nuclear watchdog reported Monday.

"We have agreed with Iran to launch a new round of talks in Istanbul on 14 April," said International Atomic Energy Agency spokesman Michael Mann in a statement. "We are very pleased that these talks, which will address the international community´s concerns on the Iranian nuclear programme, are going ahead after more than one year since we last met."

Agreement comes after weeks of diplomatic wrangling between Tehran and Russia, China, Germany, France, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Faced with mounting pressure from the world powers over its controversial nuclear program, Iran said last month that it was ready to re-engage with the IAEA.

As a signatory to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, Iran has the right, like other countries, to enrich uranium for commercial and research reactors. But the same facilities that are used for peaceful enrichment can be used to enrich uranium for a bomb. And that's what many Western countries suspect Iran is doing.

Iran insists its nuclear program is exclusively for peaceful purposes.

The country suggested over the weekend that it may be willing to reduce the amount of uranium it is enriching at 20%.

"Based on our needs and once the required fuel is obtained, we will decrease the production and we may even totally shift it to the 3.5%," Iranian nuclear chief Fereydoun Abbasi said in a televised interview, according to state-run Press TV.

Iran does not plan to produce 20% enriched uranium for long, Abbasi said, according to Press TV.

Uranium enriched at 20% is typically used for hospital isotopes and research reactors, but is also seen as a shortcut toward the 90% enrichment required to build nuclear weapons. Nuclear experts say Iran's supply is far greater than it would need for peaceful purposes.

Iran says there is a medical purpose to its nuclear program.

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