Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 18
By Dalga Khatinoglu, Saeed Isayev - Trend:
A new round of talks between Iran and the Six world powers (P5+1) has started in Vienna, a senior State Department official told Trend on Feb. 18.
The U.S. State Department's Persian-speaking spokesman Alan Eyre is a member of the U.S. delegation, along with Director of the Office of Foreign Assets Control, Treasury Department Mr. Adam Szubin, Principal Deputy Coordinator for Sanctions Policy, Department of State Mr. Richard Nephew, Deputy Spokesperson, Department of State Ms. Marie Harf and Special Assistant to the Under Secretary of State Mr. Carlos DeJuana.
Harf said that as the comprehensive negotiations with this first round of talks in Vienna begin, the U.S. has added two new members to the US delegation.
Ambassador Brooke Anderson has joined as a Senior Advisor to the Secretary of State and the Under Secretary for Political Affairs on the Iran Nuclear Negotiations.
"Ambassador Anderson will be part of our delegation on a regular basis, bringing a wealth of experience to our effort," Marie Harf said.
"Paul Irwin, the National Security Council's Director for Nonproliferation, who is already engaged in our work through the experts group and has invaluable technical expertise, will be our NSC representative," she said.
Iran's negotiating team is led by the country's foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. He's accompanied by Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs Seyyed Abbas Araqchi, Deputy Foreign Minister for European and American Affairs Majid Takht-e-Ravanchi, Director General for Political and International Affairs at Iran's Foreign Ministry Hamid Ba'eedinejad, Foreign Minister's Legal Adviser Davoud Mohammadnia and Director General for Safeguards at the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Mohammad Amiri.
Iran and the P5+1 reached a nuclear agreement on Nov. 24. Iran has agreed to curb some of its nuclear activities for six months in return for sanctions relief. Both Iran and the P5+1 group have agreed to implement the agreement starting from Jan. 20.
Under the agreement, six major powers agreed to give Iran access to $4.2 billion in revenues blocked overseas if it carries out the deal, which offers sanctions relief in exchange for steps to curb the Iranian nuclear program.
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.