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Top Iranian, U.S. Diplomats to Join Multilateral Nuclear Meeting

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif, shown earlier this month, is expected on Thursday to meet with delegates from the five permanent U.N. Security Council member nations and Germany (AP Photo/Saad Shalash). Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif, shown earlier this month, is expected on Thursday to meet with delegates from the five permanent U.N. Security Council member nations and Germany (AP Photo/Saad Shalash).

Iran's new top diplomat on Monday agreed to discuss an international standoff over his nation's nuclear activities at a multilateral gathering that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry also is expected to attend, Reuters reported.

Envoys from China, France, Germany, Russia and the United Kingdom also are expected to take part in the Thursday meeting in New York with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. The five permanent U.N. Security Council member nations and Germany have joined Iran in years of on-and-off discussions aimed at clearing up international fears that Tehran's nuclear program is directed secretly toward arms development.

This week's session in New York would be "short," European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said after conferring with Zarif. Ashton, who has communicated with Iran on behalf of the six negotiating governments, said she would speak again with Zarif next month.

She added: "In terms of whether we are on the verge of breakthrough, I would put it like this: I was struck, as I said, by the energy and determination that the foreign minister demonstrated to me."

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