Crucial nuclear talks due to start on 13 April between Iran and the six major world powers are in a state of confusion already as Tehran today said it no longer wants Istanbul as the venue. Instead, according to Iraq's foreign ministry, Iran has asked Baghdad to host the talks. Iran’s state-owned TV said on its website that Iran is also ready to hold talks in China.
Iran's sudden about-face on Istanbul is a serious indication of the worsening relations with Turkey over its position on Syria. Turkey has called on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, a key Iranian ally, to step down to end the year-long bloody crisis in his country.
"Turkey is now excluded," said Aladin Borujerdi, the chairman of the Iranian Majlis foreign affairs committee, referring to the venue for the nuclear talks. "That is the position of parliament and the government.
"Taking into account the extremist and illogical position of Turkey on Syria and the recent conference on Syria, Turkey has de facto lost any competence to host the meeting," Borujerdi added.