Iranian FM, EU foreign policy chief hold constructive meeting

Photo: Iranian FM, EU foreign policy chief hold constructive meeting / Iran

The spokesman for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton has praised the latest meeting between Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and Ashton as "constructive."

Michael Mann wrote on his Twitter page that Ashton held "constructive" talks with Zarif to "prepare today's nuclear talks" between Iran and the P5+1 group - Russia, China, France, Britain, the US and Germany - in the Austrian capital, Vienna on March 18, Iranian Press TV reported.

Iran and the six other countries have resumed their nuclear discussions in Vienna in an effort to work out a permanent agreement aimed at fully resolving the decade-old dispute over the Islamic Republic's nuclear energy program.

The new round of the negotiations follows earlier discussions in the Austrian capital, which ended on February 20.

On March 17, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi, who is also a top nuclear negotiator, met with Helga Schmid, a deputy to Ashton. The two sides reached an agreement on the agenda of the new talks.

The negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 group are to focus on uranium enrichment and Arak heavy water reactor. The two sides would also "exchange views on peaceful nuclear cooperation and sanctions," according to Zarif.

The Iranian foreign minister had earlier said that Iran does not expect the two sides to reach a final accord in their new round of talks in Vienna.

Iran and its negotiating partners inked an interim accord in Geneva, Switzerland, in November 2013. The accord took effect on January 20.

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