Iran hopes for "positive steps" at nuclear talks

MOSCOW Tue Feb 12, 2013 12:15pm GMT

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MOSCOW (Reuters) - Iran hopes for positive steps at talks on its nuclear programme with world powers in Kazakhstan this month, Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said on Tuesday.

He was speaking during a visit to Russia, one of the six powers that will be represented at talks with Iranian negotiators on February 26 in the Kazakh city of Almaty.

The six powers - Russia, the United States, France, Germany, China and Britain - want to prevent Tehran developing atomic weapons. Iran says its nuclear programme is entirely for peaceful purposes.

"We are counting on there being positive and constructive steps made to resolve this problem at the upcoming meeting at the end of February," Salehi said.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Friday that the world powers were ready to respond if Iran comes to the talks prepared to discuss "real substance" and address questions about its nuclear programme.

(Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin, Writing by Alissa de Carbonnel, Editing by Timothy Heritage)

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