Iran: UN talks signal 'new era' on nuclear impasse

In this Sept. 10, 2013 photo released by the official website of the office of the Iranian Presidency, Iranian President Hasan Rouhani speaks during an interview with state television at the presidency in Tehran, Iran. The White House weighs the risks and rewards of direct talks with Iran on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly. An exchange between President Barack Obama and Iranian President Hasan Rouhani could mark a turning point but might also be seen as a premature endorsement for a new Iranian government that has yet to answer key questions about its nuclear program. (AP Photo/Presidency Office, Rouzbeh Jadidoleslam)

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran's foreign ministry says a planned meeting this week at the United Nations to discuss restarting nuclear talks signals the beginning of a "new era" in relations with the West.

The comments Tuesday come as Iran's new president, Hasan Rouhani, is leading the country's delegation at the annual U.N. General Assembly in New York.

Iran's foreign minister is expected to meet on Thursday with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and counterparts from the other permanent Security Council members plus Germany to discuss possibly reviving stalled negotiations over Tehran's nuclear ambitions.

In Tehran, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham described the upcoming meeting as the "beginning for nuclear talks in the new era."

The West suspects Iran is seeking a nuclear weapon. Iran denies the charge.