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Iran Says Makes Proposal Aimed at Breakthrough in Nuclear Standoff

UN representatives sitting in the main UN building in Geneva, Switzerland on Tuesday ahead of nuclear talks. Fabrice Coffrini

Iran said it presented "logical" proposals in talks with six world powers Tuesday, aimed at achieving a breakthrough in a decade-old standoff over its disputed nuclear program that has heightened the risk of a new Middle East war.

Tehran launched negotiations in earnest with the U.S., Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany, reflecting the election in June of a relative moderate, Hassan Rouhani, as new Iranian president, raising hopes for an end to the deadlock.

After years of ideological defiance, Iran appeared keen for a negotiated settlement to win relief from sanctions that have crippled its economy, slashed 60 percent of its daily oil export revenue and caused a steep devaluation of the rival currency.

Details of the Iranian proposal were not immediately available. Western diplomats have cautioned in the past that Tehran appeared loath to offer sufficient nuclear concessions to secure a deal.

Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi said, however, that the global powers had "welcomed" Tehran's proposals and the substantive details would be discussed later in the day at the deputy foreign minister level.

"We think that the proposal we have made has the capacity to make a breakthrough. We had a very serious and good meeting this morning," he told reporters.

"The questions that were asked regarding Iran's plan were completely serious and our answers were as well. Both sides felt that the opposite side was continuing the negotiations with motivation," Araqchi said.

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