Iran nuclear talks over access resume in Vienna, Istanbul

Iran’s top nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili (R) and his deputy Ali Baqeri take part in talks with the P5+1 group on Iran’s nuclear program in the Kazakh city of Almaty on April 5, 2013.

Iran news headlines on Wednesday include resumption of Iran nuclear talks in Vienna and Istanbul;Iran hard-liners urging election ban on Hashemi Rafsanjani & Rahim Mashaei; reduction of South Korea’s Iran oil imports by half in April and country hosting of Syrian friends conference on May 29.


Iran in parallel nuclear talks in Vienna, Istanbul

Iran held two sets of talks Wednesday aimed at easing tensions over its nuclear programme, but prospects for any breakthrough were low ahead of next month’s elections in the Islamic republic. In Vienna, the UN atomic agency, the IAEA, pressed Iranian officials to grant access to sites, documents and scientists involved in Tehran’s alleged efforts to develop atomic weapons.


South Korea reduces crude imports from Iran by half in April

South Korea, the world’s fifth-largest oil importer, cut crude shipments from Iran by 51 percent in April from a year earlier, customs data show. Purchases last month were 507,821 metric tons, compared with 1.04 million tons a year earlier, according to data on the Korea Customs Service’s website today. The volume was 556,658 tons in March, the figures showed. The April deliveries were equivalent to about 124,000 barrels a day.


Iran hard-liners urge election ban on 2 candidates

Hard-line Iranian lawmakers have petitioned authorities to bar two contenders – a moderate former president and a protege of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad – from running in next month’s presidential election. According to a report Wednesday by the semi-official Fars news agency, about 100 lawmakers appealed to the country’s Guardian Council, which vets and short-lists all those seeking to run in the June 14 election.


Iran to host Syrian friends conference

Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said Tehran will host Syrian friends meeting late May.

“We have invited some countries to join the conference and God willing the meeting will be held on May 29 based on the planning made. We hope that a large number of officials of different countries would join the conference,” Salehi told reporters on the sidelines of the cabinet meeting.


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