Iran, France to hold direct nuclear talks

Photo: Iran, France to hold direct nuclear talks / Iran

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius says direct talks between Iran and France on the Islamic Republic's nuclear energy program will be held this week, Press TV reported.

"Bilateral discussions between France and Iran will take place on Wednesday," Fabius said on Monday.

"After these discussions, there will also be discussions between the Iranians and the Russians. There may be others. Anyway, the three (countries) that I know about are the Americans, the Russians and the French," Fabius added.

On Monday afternoon, representatives from Iran and the United States kicked off their two-day bilateral nuclear negotiations in the Swiss city of Geneva.

The talks between delegates from the US and Iran come ahead of the next round of nuclear talks between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council -- the United States, China, Russia, France and Britain -- plus Germany, scheduled for June 16-20 in the Austrian capital Vienna.

Seyyed Abbas Araqchi, the deputy foreign minister for legal and international affairs, and Majid Takht-e-Ravanchi, the deputy foreign minister for European and American affairs, are heading Iran's delegation while the US negotiating team is led by Deputy Secretary of State Bill Burns and Jake Sullivan, a top White House adviser. Washington has also sent Undersecretary for State Wendy Sherman to the two-day meeting.

Iran and the six countries have been holding talks to iron out their differences and reach a final deal to end the standoff over the Islamic Republic's nuclear energy program. The two sides held the latest round of nuclear negotiations in Vienna in May.

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