Iran welcomes new nuclear negotiations

Updated 04 January 2013
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Iran welcomes new nuclear negotiations

NEW DELHI: Iran’s top nuclear negotiator yesterday welcomed the return of leading world powers to talks over the country’s disputed atomic program, but urged them “not to repeat their past mistakes.”
Talks stalled in June when Iran rejected a proposal to suspend part of its nuclear program, asking for more substantial relief from sanctions.
Saeed Jalili, the secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, said Friday that Iran had invited world powers to resolve the impasse six months ago, which had now been considered.
“There was a six-month delay but they recently announced they are ready to come back for talks,” he told journalists at the Iranian embassy during a trip to New Delhi.
“We welcome their return to the talks. We hope that they will come to the talks with a constructive approach and (that) they will not repeat their past mistakes,” he added, without elaborating.
The last round of talks between Iran and the so-called P5+1 powers — the United States, Russia, China, France, Germany and Britain — yielded no breakthrough in Moscow in June.
In late November the six powers engaging Iran over its nuclear program said they were willing to hold a new round of negotiations with Tehran.


Temporary humanitarian ceasefire in Daesh-held area of south Damascus

Updated 34 min 27 sec ago
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Temporary humanitarian ceasefire in Daesh-held area of south Damascus

BEIRUT: A temporary humanitarian ceasefire is in place to allow women, children and the elderly to evacuate the Daesh-held area of Al-Hajjar Al-Aswad in south Damascus, Syrian state media said on Monday citing a military source.
The Syrian army and its allies have been battling for weeks to recapture the tiny Daesh enclave, the last area outside government control in or around the capital.
On Sunday, state media denied a war monitor’s report that fighters had begun withdrawing from the area toward Daesh territory in eastern Syria under a surrender deal.
The temporary ceasefire came into effect on Sunday night and will end at 12pm and the army offensive will start again immediately, state media cited the military source as saying.
The war monitor, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, reported early on Monday that buses had already started leaving south Damascus for the Daesh areas in eastern Syria.
The ultra-hardline militant group now controls only the tiny pocket in south Damascus and two besieged desert areas in eastern Syria, while another insurgent group that has pledged loyalty to it holds a small enclave in the southwest.
Pro-Syrian government forces have staged an intensive operation to recover Daesh’s south Damascus pocket in Al-Hajjar Al-Aswad and the adjacent Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp since driving rebels from eastern Ghouta in April.