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Are Iran nuclear program talks back on?

Iran’s foreign minister said Friday that his country welcomes a proposal from the European Union’s top diplomat to resume talks on its nuclear program. The invitation is for November, but no date set.

Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki attends a news conference in Tehran on Saturday.

Morteza Nikoubazl/Reuters

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A mid-November return to the diplomatic table is looking increasingly likely for Iran and the group of world powers seeking to stop the Iranian regime from building a nuclear bomb from its atomic energy program.

No dates have been set, but Iran’s foreign minister, Manouchehr Mottaki, said Friday that his country welcomes a proposal a day earlier by the European Union’s top diplomat, Catherine Ashton, for the two sides to meet in Vienna for three days of talks in mid-November.

Mr. Mottaki’s positive words concerning a resumption of talks that broke off a year ago were the strongest indication yet – amid a spike in speculation since August – that a return to the negotiating table may be imminent.

Talks between Iran and the group of powers known as the P5 + 1 – the United Nations Security Council’s five permanent members, the United States, Russia, China, France, and Great Britain, plus Germany – broke off last October after Iran rejected a deal for moving much of its stockpiled enriched uranium out of the country. Since then, the Security Council has approved a fourth round of economic sanctions against Iran as a means of drawing it back to talks on its nuclear program.

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