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Powers to offer Iran sanctions relief at nuclear talks

Published on Feb 26, 2013 2:22 PM
Kazakhstan's President Nursultan Nazarbayev (right) welcomes Iran's top nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili in the Kazakh city of Almaty, Feb 25, 2013. World powers meet negotiators from Iran in the Kazakh city of Almaty in the hope of curbing Teheran's nuclear ambitions by advancing a "significant" new offer, despite low expectations of a breakthrough after years of dashed hopes. -- PHOTO: AFP

ALMATY (REUTERS) - World powers are expected to offer Iran limited sanctions relief on Tuesday if it agrees to halt its most sensitive nuclear work, in a new attempt to resolve a dispute that threatens to trigger another war in the Middle East.

In their first meeting in eight months - time that Iran has used to expand atomic activity that the West suspects is aimed at developing a bomb capability - the powers hope Iran will engage in serious talks on finding a diplomatic solution.

But with the Islamic Republic's political elite pre-occupied with worsening internal infighting ahead of a June presidential election, few believe the meeting on Tuesday and Wednesday in the Kazakh city of Almaty will yield an immediate breakthrough.

At best, diplomats and analysts say, Iran will take the joint offer from the United States, Russia, France, Germany, Britain and China seriously and agree to hold further talks soon on how to implement practical steps to ease the tension.

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