Zarif, Ashton hold bilateral nuclear talks in Vienna

Photo: Zarif, Ashton hold bilateral nuclear talks in Vienna / Iran

Baku, Azerbaijan, June 19

By Umid Niayesh - Trend:

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and European Union Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton ended their bilateral meeting on the Islamic Republic's nuclear program on June 19.

The 2-hour morning meeting between Zarif and Ashton was aimed at drafting a final nuclear deal, Iran's official IRNA news agency reported.

The meeting with Ashton, who coordinates diplomacy with Iran on behalf of six world powers, came as part of ongoing Vienna negotiations over Tehran's disputed nuclear energy program.

On June 18, Zarif announced that Iran and the P5+1 (the US, Russia, China, France and Britain plus Germany) have started writing the text of final agreement or the "Comprehensive Joint Plan of Action."

Under a six-month interim deal between Iran and the P5+1 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.

Edited by CN

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