Tehran set for nuclear talks


Iran and six of the world's major powers, including the UK and US, prepared for rare talks yesterday aimed at easing fears that a deepening dispute over the Islamic Republic's nuclear programme could plunge the Middle East into a new war.

Officials from France, Russia, China and Germany were among those who arrived in Istanbul ahead of today's bid to restart stalled diplomacy with Iran. Western diplomats have expressed cautious optimism that Iran, which has seen its oil exports squeezed by tough sanctions, may finally be ready to discuss curbs to its nuclear programme. But Iran's English-language state television, Press TV, cited sources close to Iran's delegation as saying Tehran saw "few encouraging points" in remarks by US and European officials.