By Jeremy Herb - 03/06/12 06:02 PM EST
“I have offered to resume talks with Iran,” said Ashton, who represents the United States, United Kingdom, France, China, Russia and Germany, the “P5+1” group that’s negotiated with Iran. “We hope that we will be able to now pursue with Iran constructive engagement with the purpose of addressing the international community’s concerns about the nuclear program.”
At the same time, Iran agreed to allow inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) into its Parchin military facility, which Iranian officials had previously refused to do, according to Iran’s semi-official FARS News Agency.
IAEA officials left Iran last month after they were not allowed into the Parchin facility, which they suspect could be housing nuclear activity.
Ashton’s letter was in response to an Iranian letter last month stating that Tehran welcomed the resumption of nuclear talks. Ashton said that in the next few days the dates and venue would be decided.
In Washington, where Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Obama met Monday about Iran, talk of a potential Israel attack to stop Iran’s nuclear program dominated the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) conference.
Netanyahu told AIPAC on Monday evening that diplomacy and sanctions have not worked to stop Iran’s nuclear program. He said Israel “cannot afford to wait much longer.”
Obama has urged Israel to give the sanctions more time to have their effect, and administration officials have cautioned Israel against a military attack.