US, Europe cautious on Iran offer for nuke talks

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By MATTHEW LEE, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States and the European Union are expressing cautious optimism that Iran is serious about returning to talks with world powers over its nuclear program.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said Friday they were studying Iran's response to a proposal to restart the stalled negotiations. However, Clinton said the Iranian reply was "one we have been waiting for." Ashton said she was "cautious" but "optimistic" that talks could resume.

The pair spoke to reporters at the State Department where they met to discuss Iran's offer to return as soon as possible to talks with the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council and Germany.

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