Ashton's spokesman says Iran visit date still being finalized

Photo: Ashton's spokesman says Iran visit date still being finalized / Iran

Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 24

By Saeed Isayev - Trend:

The dates and arrangements for the visit of EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton to Iran, are still being finalized, the chief's spokesman Michael Mann told Trend.

This is while Iranian deputy foreign minister, Abbas Araqchi said that Ashton will visit Iran on March 9-10.

Iran's foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Feb. 20 that Ms. Ashton will visit Iran prior to 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 end on March 21).

Michael Mann also said that the sides held "three very productive days in Vienna", negotiating over Iran's nuclear program.

"There is a lot to do," Mann said. "It won't be easy but we have made a good start. We have set a timetable of meetings over the next four months with a framework to continue our deliberations, which is a positive development."

Mohammad Javad Zarif recently said that Iran and P5+1 group have agreed to hold meetings every month till June at the level of Iranian foreign minister and European Union's foreign policy chief.

It should be noted that 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.

Araqchi said on Feb. 19 that Tehran and the six world powers have finalized a framework for comprehensive talks to reach a final agreement.

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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