World powers, Iran to talk nukes in Istanbul
JERUSALEM (JTA) — Nuclear negotiations between Iran and world powers will be held in Istanbul.
The talks scheduled for April 14 in Turkey’s largest city will include six world powers — the United States, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany — European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton announced Sunday.
Also Sunday, Iran said it will not close its Fordo nuclear power facility, which is built deep into a mountain near the holy city of Oom, and also will not give up higher-level uranium enrichment. Those are reported to be the key demands that the world powers will present at the meeting.
The demands are “irrational,” the head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, Fereydoon Abbasi Davani, told the ISNA news agency in an interview.
“If they do not threaten us and guarantee that no aggression will occur, then there would be no need for countries to build facilities underground,” he told Iran’s official news agency. “They should change their behavior and language.”
The demands were revealed Saturday in a front-page New York Times article that quoted anonymous U.S. and EU diplomats.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday that Iran is using the upcoming talks to “delay and deceive.” He called for Iran to dismantle Oom, completely halt uranium enrichment and remove higher level enriched uranium from the country.
Iran says it has arrested ‘Zionist regime-backed
(JTA) — Iranian intelligence has arrested a “Zionist regime-backed terrorist team,” the official Iranian news agency reported.
“The terrorists had planned to carry out terrorist operations inside the country but they were arrested before implementing their plan,” IRNA, the Islamic Republic News Agency, reported Tuesday, citing the intelligence ministry. All of the members of the team were “identified and arrested by Iranian security forces.”
The report said that more details would be released later.
Weaponry and telecommunications equipment belonging to what the IRNA called “mercenaries” also was seized, The Associated Press reported.
The report did not say when the arrests took place.