Zarif outlines issues raised in talks with Ashton

Photo: Zarif outlines issues raised in talks with Ashton / Nuclear Program

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif outlined the details of the issues raised in his meeting with EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, IRNA reported.

ˈMe and Ashton discussed the process of continuation of work and framework this round of talks and the two sides agreed once again to continue talks jointly,ˈ Zarif told reporters after his talks with Ashton in the Austrian capital.

ˈWe arranged the agenda of Wednesday morning and we will raise our general views on this day and after that the six world powers will hold talks and then we will begin our negotiations.ˈ

He underlined that the sensitivity of this round of talks is greater than the previous one because we will begin writing the text of final agreement.

Asked whether the two sides will reach the final agreement by July 20, Zarif responded that it depends on the other sideˈs good will.

ˈWe are not after gaining access to nuclear weapons and we also do not face a problem which has been specified for the rest of the world,ˈ he said.

Deputy chief negotiators from Iran and the sextet wrapped up their last round of talks in Vienna on April 9. The talks were headed by Deputy Foreign Minister Seyyed Abbas Araqchi and EU foreign policy deputy chief Helga Schmidt.

The talks started on April 8 by a session presided by Ashton and Zarif at the UN headquarters in Vienna, and continued by a meeting among the deputy chief negotiators of the seven nations.

The Iranian Foreign Ministry in a statement on April 8 reiterated that its team of negotiators would not discuss any topic but the countryˈs nuclear standoff with the West in its talks with the six world powers.

The talks between Tehran and the G5+1 are part of efforts to seal a final deal on Iran's nuclear energy program.

Iran and the Group 5+1 representatives had several sessions of talks in Vienna on March 18-19 too. Following the breakthrough interim agreement between Iran and the six powers, the two sides accepted to send their senior negotiating teams to monthly meetings to discuss a final and comprehensive deal until July. If the seven nations fail to agree on a final deal by then, the Geneva interim agreement will be extended for another 6 months.

On November 24, Iran and the Group 5+1 sealed a six-month Joint Plan of Action to lay the groundwork for the full resolution of the West's decade-old dispute with Iran over the latterˈs nuclear energy program.

In exchange for Tehran's confidence-building bid to limit certain aspects of its nuclear activities, the sextet of the world powers agreed to lift some of the existing sanctions against Tehran and impose no nuclear-related sanctions on Iran during the six-month period.

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