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Iran 'will continue nuclear talks'

Iran is willing to continue talks with world powers over its nuclear programme until they reach a conclusion, a senior Iranian official has said in a report by the semi-official ISNA news agency.

The comments, from an adviser to the country's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, show that Tehran's leadership is ready to restart negotiations despite their repeated failure in the past.

"The talks will be continued until they reach positive and constructive conclusions," said Ali Akbar Velayati, adding that the West should recognise Iran's right to peaceful nuclear activities.

The European Union said on Thursday that its top representatives on the matter would meet their Iranian counterparts "soon", with EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton to discuss the matter with Tehran's chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili.

Baroness Ashton's deputy Helga Schmid met Ali Bagheri, Iran's deputy nuclear negotiator, in Istanbul on Tuesday to pave the way for another high-level meeting.

The US and other world powers want Iran to curb uranium enrichment, which can produce nuclear warhead material, but Iran says its programme is designed solely for peaceful purposes such as power generation and cancer treatment.

Recent high-level talks have failed to narrow those differences, and Tehran faces intensified international sanctions over its programme.

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