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Iran's Foreign Minister, Ashton To Meet Ahead Of Nuclear Talks

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif plans to meet EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton in New York ahead of Tehran’s next round of formal nuclear talks with world powers.

A spokesman for Zarif said he and Ashton would hold a working lunch on September 17.

Ashton’s spokeswoman said there would be additional “negotiating sessions” before Tehran and the P5+1 group meet on September 19 on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.

Ashton is the lead negotiator for the P5+1, which includes the United States, China, Russia, Britain, France, and Germany.

The P5+1 wants Iran to scale down nuclear activities such as uranium enrichment so that it cannot produce nuclear weapons.

Iran, which denies trying to develop nuclear weapons, wants tough UN and Western sanctions to be lifted.

The sides are trying to reach a permanent nuclear agreement by November 24.

Based on reporting by AP, AFP, and Reuters