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Iran nuclear talks: Tehran says it's ready, despite assassination.

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Given rising tensions related to increased international sanctions and the assassination of Mr. Roshan on Wednesday – the fourth Iranian nuclear scientist killed in the last two years, according to the Washington Post – many question whether the talks will move forward. It has been more than a year since Iran last discussed its nuclear goals with the P5+1, in Istanbul in January 2011, and Iran has not officially agreed to resume talks.

European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said she is still awaiting response from Iran on a formal request sent in October inviting the country to talk, reports BBC News.

At issue is whether Iran is using the existence of a nuclear power program, which it is entitled to have, as a guise for developing nuclear weapons – a charge Tehran has repeatedly denied.

The government insists it is only trying to generate nuclear power and radioactive medical isotopes, Agence France Presse reports, they have increased enrichment levels from 3.5 to 20 percent – still shy of the 90 percent needed for a weapon, but an important step down that road.

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