Talks on implementing Geneva Iran deal to stretch beyond Christmas
Iran and six world powers will have to meet for a third round of talks after Christmas on how to implement their nuclear deal, a spokeswoman for the six said Sunday, as the second round ended without agreement in Geneva on the weekend, dpa reported.
Iran agreed with the six permanent UN Security Council countries and Germany last month on a temporary deal that curbs Tehran's nuclear programme, as a signal that the Islamic Republic does not aim for nuclear weapons. In return, some sanctions targeting Iran are to be suspended.
Experts from both sides have been working for the past two weeks, first in Vienna, and then in Geneva, to agree on the sequence in which each side would take its confidence-building steps, and on other technical questions.
Iran's Foreign Minister Javad Zarif and EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, who coordinates the group of six, spoke on the phone Sunday and decided to suspend the talks over Christmas, Ashton's spokeswoman Maja Kociajncic said.
"We expect that technical talks will resume before the new year," she said.
Zarif's deputy Abbas Araqchi said Saturday that little progress had been made in the latest round, according to Iranian media reports.
Iran and the group consisting of Britain, China, France, Russia, the United States and Germany want to start implementing the Geneva deal in late January for a period of six months, creating a time frame for a more comprehensive agreement.