World powers and Iran "very likely" to resume nuclear talks in February

BRUSSELS (REUTERS) - World powers and Iran will "very likely" resume negotiations on the Islamic Republic's nuclear ambitions in February, shortly after an interim, six-month deal restricting its atomic work goes into effect, a diplomatic source told Reuters on Monday.

The goal of the new round of talks is to find a broad settlement in the decade-old dispute over Iran's nuclear programme. The aim is to defuse the risk of mistrust leading to deeper tensions or even conflict in the Middle East.

The diplomatic source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the first meeting between Iran and six powers - the United States, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany - would include Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and European Union's foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton.