* Iran negotiator says proposal been given to Russia
* West worried about higher-level uranium refining
NEW DELHI, Jan 2 (Reuters) - Iran hopes talks with six major
powers about its atomic programme will begin very soon, the
country's top nuclear negotiator said on Wednesday during a trip
Last week, Russian media said the six world powers - the
United States, Russia, France, Britain, Germany and China - were
still negotiating with the Islamic Republic on a possible date
and venue for the talks.
"We gave our proposal to Russia and they expressed their
readiness for a restart of the talks. We welcome them," Saeed
Jalili, Iran's national security council secretary, said.
"The venue and the time...have not been finalised but we
hope that these talks will start very soon," he told reporters
after a speech in Delhi.
The six powers want to rein in Tehran's uranium enrichment
programme, to ensure it is geared only for civilian energy,
through a mix of diplomacy and sanctions. Iran denies Western
assertions that it is seeking nuclear weapons capability.
The powers so far have failed to achieve a breakthrough in
three rounds of talks since April. But neither side has been
willing to break off totally, partly because of concerns this
could lead to a new war in the Middle East if Israel attacked
Iran is refining uranium to a fissile concentration of 20
percent, which Western experts worry is a step towards the level
required for bombs. Iran says it needs higher-grade uranium to
run its medical research reactor in Tehran.
Jalili is the second member of Iran's nuclear team to visit
India in the past month. Officials from both countries declined
to say whether or not India was involved in getting the nuclear
Later in the week, Jalili is due to meet India's national
security adviser, before travelling to Afghanistan.
(Reporting Satarupa Bhattacharjya; Writing by Frank Jack
Daniel; Editing by Michael Roddy)