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Ankara Hints At EU-Iran Nuclear Talks After Ramadan

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu (left) at a chance meeting in Lisbon with his Iranian counterpart, Manuchehr Mottaki, in mid-July
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu says that Iran might hold talks with the European Union over its controversial nuclear program at the "end of Ramadan, possibly around the second week of September."

He was speaking to reporters after meeting with his Iranian and Brazilian counterparts, Manuchehr Mottaki and Celso Amorim, in Istanbul.

Davutoglu also said that Iran would also send a letter on July 26 to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) asking for a start to separate "technical" talks on implementing a nuclear fuel swap that was brokered in May with the help of Turkey and Brazil.

In the deal, Iran agreed to send 1,200 kilograms of low-enriched uranium to Turkey in exchange for higher-enriched uranium from Russia and France.

World powers cold-shouldered the deal when it became clear that Iran would not stop its own, separate enrichment program.

The United Nations has since passed a fourth round of sanctions against Tehran.

EU foreign ministers are due on July 26 to formally approve tough sanctions against Iran's oil and gas industries.

Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad has meanwhile warned the EU against imposing unilateral sanctions, saying Tehran would react swiftly. He added that Iran does not welcome any new tension over its controversial nuclear program.

compiled from agency reports