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Wed, 02 May 2012 13:02 - Updated Wed, 02 May 2012 13:02

Iran says optimistic about nuclear talks

Vienna

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Vienna - Iran is optimistic about progress in talks with world powers over its nuclear program but it will never give up its right to the peaceful use of atomic energy, a senior Iranian official said on Wednesday.

Tehran reopened negotiations with six world powers over its uranium enrichment program last month and they have agreed to meet again in Baghdad on May 23.

"We continue to be optimistic about upcoming negotiations," Deputy Foreign Minister Mohammad Mahdi Akhondzadehhe said in a speech to a nuclear non-proliferation conference in Vienna.

But he added: "There should be no doubt that the great nation of Iran...will never abandon exercising its inalienable right to peaceful use of nuclear energy and technology,"The United States and its allies say Iran's nuclear program is a cover for developing atomic weapons, a charge Tehran denies.

They have imposed new sanctions against Iran's energy and banking sectors since the beginning of this year and the European Union is set to impose a total embargo on the purchase of Iranian crude oil in July.