EU's Ashton in goodwill visit to Iran
Published on Mar 9, 2014 1:57 PM
GHAZI TEHRAN (AFP) - EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton was in Iran on Sunday for top-level meetings with officials who are pursuing a track of talks they hope will eventually end international pressure and suspicions over Tehran's nuclear programme.
Ms Ashton's mainly symbolic visit comes amid a thaw in Iran's strained relations with the West after Tehran signed a preliminary deal last November rolling back parts of its nuclear activities in return for a curbing of some Western sanctions.
The breakthrough was made possible after last year's election of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, viewed as a relative moderate who has the ear of supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
The November deal has opened the way to discussions aimed at reaching a definitive accord between Iran and the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, plus Germany - the so-called P5+1.
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