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Middle East

Israel cautiously welcomes Western talks with Iran

media Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks in the U.S. Capitol in … Reuters/Kevin Lamarque

Israel responded with cautious approval to the announcement by EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton of the resumption of international talks with Iran.

Yaakov Amidrov, the National Security Advisor to the Prime Minister, stated that he was happy that the negotiations would resume, but voiced the opinion of Netanyahu that Israel’s desired outcome from the talks is an Iran with no military nuclear capability.

In discussion with US President Barak Obama on Monday, Netanyahu demanded that Iran cease any enrichment and that any uranium with a purity higher than 3.5 per cent, the level used to generate electricity, be removed.

Speaking on Israeli radio on Wednesday, Zvi Hauser, cabinet secretary to Netanyahu, said this demand remains.

Ashton announced on Wednesday that she had responded on Monday to a letter issued a month ago by the Iranian negotiator, Saeed Jalili, which offered to resume face-to-face negotiations as soon as possible.

However, a senior French official has stated that the wording of the letter could be seen as ambiguous, despite it being the first mention of the nuclear issue.

The move to resume talks following the letter provoked divisions among many international powers, notably France and Germany.

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