Ashton and Jalili in Istanbul

Iran’s top nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili said on Thursday May 16 that talks in Istanbul with Catherine Ashton, the P5+1 representative, were beneficial, adding that Iran is prepared to continue nuclear talks either before or after its presidential election.

ISNA reports that Jalili told a press conference at the Iranian consulate in Istanbul: “We are prepared to continue talks until whenever they want. These talks could be held before or after the election because this issue is a national matter that goes beyond partisanship in Iran, and all the people and political groups support it.”

He said the talks with Ashton on Wednesday were “useful” and added that they are supposed to meet again with new ideas to address each other’s concern.

The two parties met at the Iranian consulate in Istanbul on May 15 to further discuss the matters previously presented in Almaty, Kazakhstan.

Ashton also spoke positively about the meeting but did not mention a date for the next one.