(TEHRAN, Iran) — Iran’s state TV said Tuesday that Iraq is willing to host talks between six world powers and Tehran regarding the long-controversial Iranian nuclear program.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has already named Istanbul, Turkey, as the venue for the renewed discussions on April 13 that would involve Iran and the five permanent members of the United Security Council plus Germany, otherwise known as the G5+1.
However, Iran wants a friendlier setting for the talks, suggesting the capitals of Iraq, Syria or Lebanon instead.
According to Iran’s IRIB TV website, an informed Iraqi source claims that his nation is offering Baghdad as the site for the stalled talks that broke down more than a year ago as the G5+1 demands Iran suspend the process of uranium enrichment, a major step in creating nuclear weapons.
Iran maintains its program is for peaceful purposes, namely, generating electricity — a claim the U.S. and the West doubt since Iran is one of the biggest oil producers in the world.
The Iraqi source told Iran’s state TV that the United States, Britain, France and Germany have apparently welcomed Iraq’s offer while there was no word from either Russia or China.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Paul Cruickshank and Michael Pearson, CNN