US President Barack Obama said an announcement of six-power talks with Iran offered a diplomatic chance to defuse a crisis over its nuclear programme and quiet the 'drums of war'. EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, who represents the United States, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany in dealings with Iran, announced a fresh bid to allay suspicions that Iran is developing nuclear weapons after weeks of consultations with the other powers. A date and venue have yet to be agreed for the talks, proposed by Iran after a year's diplomatic standstill that has increased fears of a slide into a new Middle East war. Amid mounting speculation that Iran's nuclear sites could be attacked in coming months, Obama said that American politicians 'beating the drums of war' had a responsibility to explain the costs and benefits of military action. He said the notion that the US needed to make a choice in coming weeks or months was 'not borne out by facts'.