Iran news headlines on Monday include Iran-IAEA nuke talks on May 21; concerns over hiking food price in Iran; Pentagon chief remarks over Israel’s right of military strike on Iran; Iran’s policy of increasing its population and Turkey denial of Israel plan of using its airbase for attacking Iran.
Iran and officials from the United Nations nuclear watchdog will hold a new round of talks over Iran’s disputed nuclear program on May 21 in Vienna, Iranian media reported on Monday.
The Mehr and ISNA news agencies gave no further details in their reports. The International Atomic Energy Agency press had no immediate comment. Last week, a diplomatic source told Reuters that a meeting in May was a possibility, but that no date had yet been fixed.
Iranian newspapers warn that a new wave of price hikes could stir greater discontent less than two months before presidential elections.
The press commentaries also suggest disputes within Iran’s ruling system over how to cope with an economy battered by international sanctions imposed because of Tehran’s controversial nuclear program.
U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel held out hope Sunday for a nonmilitary way to ending the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran, but he also emphasized Washington’s willingness to let Israel decide whether and when it might strike Tehran in self-defense.
Iran has launched a house-to-house health education drive to persuade couples to have more children in a move aimed at engineering a baby boom and more than doubling its population.
The health ministry is deploying some 150,000 officers to promote the benefits of marriage and urge single-child couples to expand their families.
Turkey has denied media reports that Israel will ask Turkey to use an air base near Ankara to train for a possible strike on Iran.
Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Levent Gümrükçü told the state-run Anatolia news agency that the media reports absolutely do not reflect the truth. “These are completely speculative and ill-intentioned reports,” Gümrükçü added.
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