Change of Venue for Nuclear Talks Ruled Out

Change of Venue for Nuclear Talks Ruled Out
Change of Venue for Nuclear Talks Ruled Out

An unnamed source close to the negotiating team rejected reports that Iran is considering a change of venue for the nuclear talks with the major powers for security reasons.

“There is no serious discussion about changing the venue of the negotiations, despite some comments made to this effect,” he was quoted by IRNA as saying on Saturday.

After Russian computer security company Kaspersky Lab said on Wednesday a computer virus was used to hack into sites including three hotels that have hosted the nuclear negotiations in Austria and Switzerland, some media said Iran was considering the possibility of such a change.

“Given the current situation, however, moving the location of the talks can be considered as an option if it is found to be essential to ensure the security of the talks,” the source noted.  

Fars News Agency said the Foreign Ministry wrote to Austrian and Swiss governments expressing “serious concern” over the possible cyberattack. The ministry asked to be informed about the results of investigations over the issue.  

Austria and Switzerland, which have frequently hosted the nuclear talks between Iran and the major powers, are investigating the case. “Iran wants all necessary measures ... taken to secure the talks, including cyber security, as soon as possible,” the ministry’s letter said.

Both Kaspersky and US security company Symantec said the virus shared some programming with previously discovered espionage software called Duqu, which security experts believe to have been developed by Israelis.