DHAKA: The EU’s head of foreign policy, Catherine Ashton, has begun talks with Iranian leaders in Tehran.
It is her first visit to Iran and comes amid a thaw in relations with the West following last year`s election of moderate Hassan Rouhani as president.
She met foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif for more than an hour.
In November, Baroness Ashton helped broker a deal to curb Iran’s nuclear programme in return for limited sanctions relief.
Iran’s deputy foreign minister, Majid Takhte Ravanchi, said on Saturday the nuclear issue would be on the agenda for the three-day visit.
‘Ms Ashton travels to Iran as the EU foreign policy chief, and discussing bilateral ties between Iran and European Union is on her agenda... naturally the nuclear issue will be raised too,’ he said.
Analysts say the war in Syria is also expected to be discussed, as Iran is a key ally of president Bashar al-Assad.
Baroness Ashton’s visit is the first to Iran by an EU policy chief since 2008.
Iranian media said the trip would also take her to the historical city of Isfahan on Monday, reports the BBC.
BDST: 1456 HRS, MAR 09, 2014
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