EU's foreign policy chief to visit Iran on March 9

Photo: EU's foreign policy chief to visit Iran on March 9 / Politics

Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 20

By Umid Niayesh - Trend:

The European Union's foreign policy Chief Catherine Ashton will visit Iran on March 9-10, Iranian deputy foreign minister, Abbas Araqchi said, the country's ISNA news agency reported on Feb. 20.

Iranian foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif wrote on his Facebook page on Feb. 20 morning that Ashton will visit Iran before the next round of the Iran-P5+1 nuclear talks, which is scheduled to be held in the late days of the current Iranian calendar year (will ended on March 21).

Iran and the six world powers held the first round of high-level negotiations on the country's disputed nuclear program this week after the two sides arrived at a landmark interim deal in the Swiss city of Geneva on November 24, 2013.

Under the deal, the six countries undertook to provide Iran with some sanctions relief in exchange for Iran agreeing to limit certain aspects of its nuclear activities during a six-month period. It was also agreed that no nuclear-related sanctions will be imposed on Iran within the same timeframe.

The agreement dubbed the 'Geneva Joint Plan of Action' went into effect on January 20.

"We had three very productive days during which we identified all the issues we need to address in reaching a comprehensive and final agreement," Ashton said during a press conference in the Vienna at the end of the latest round of the nuclear talks. She said that a timetable had been set for meetings initially over the next four months with a framework to continue on further.

The next round of negotiations will begin with a meeting between technical experts from the P5+1 and Iran early next month followed by a meeting of Ashton and Zarif in Vienna on March 17.

The U.S. and its Western allies suspect Iran of developing a nuclear weapon - something that Iran denies. The Islamic Republic has on numerous occasions stated that it does not seek to develop nuclear weapons, using nuclear energy for medical researches instead.

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