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World powers agree to reopen talks with Iran

March 7, 2012 - Washington

The United States and five other countries have reportedly agreed to reopen talks with Iran, offering Tehran a diplomatic path to resolve an ongoing nuclear crisis after months of bellicose rhetoric.

European Union officials in Brussels formally accepted an Iranian proposal to restart negotiations on its nuclear program, clearing the way for the first such meeting in more than year.

According to the Washington Post, the Obama administration has cautiously welcomed the plan for talks, but said the onus was on Iran to prove its sincerity.

At a news conference Tuesday, President Barack Obama said there is still a window of opportunity to use diplomacy to stop Iran from building nuclear bomb.

"We will have a pretty good sense fairly quickly as to how serious they are," President Obama told a news conference hours after the talks were announced.

He called on Iran to agree to steps that would "provide the world with assurance that they're not pursuing a nuclear weapon."

The new talks - which are expected to begin within weeks - would be the most significant de-escalation of a crisis that has been gathering steam since November.

A successful resumption of talks would represent a victory for the Obama administration, which mobilized dozens of countries in an effort to apply economic and political pressure on Iran.

Obama has meanwhile pressed Israel not to launch a military strike against Iran's nuclear facilities, arguing that economic sanctions could yet result in a diplomatic solution.


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