Baku, Azerbaijan, March 19
By Umid Niayesh - Trend:
Iranian deputy foreign minister and top nuclear negotiator Abbas Araqchi said that the current round of nuclear talks with P5+1 was "useful, but early to say constructive."
Speaking to reporters at the end of the first day of new round of nuclear talks on March 18, Araqchi described the atmosphere of negotiations as "serious and explicit," Iranian Mehr news agency reported on March 19.
He underlined that the current round of talks is mainly focused on exchanging views and the two sides are seeking a common ground and then they will work on a joint text. Araqchi went on to say that three main topics were discussed during the meetings, with the fourth topic remaining for talks on March 19.
On March 18, the two sides talked about enrichment, peaceful nuclear cooperation and removal of sanctions, while the March 19 talks will zoom in on the Arak heavy water reactor, he added.
He also said that the next round of talks was expected to be held in Vienna on April 7-9.
Iran and the P5+1 group (Russia, China, France, Britain, the U.S. and Germany) 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 program.
The new round of the negotiations follows earlier discussions in the Vienna, which ended on February 20.
Under an interim nuclear deal between Iran and the P5+1 group (five members of the UN Security Council plus Germany) which took effect on Jan 20, the six major powers agreed to give Iran access to its $4.2 billion in revenues blocked overseas if the country fulfills the deal's terms which offer sanctions relief in exchange for steps on curbing 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 research instead.