Iran’s top negotiator not optimistic about nuclear talks
Baku, Azerbaijan, March 1
By Umid Niayesh - Trend:
Iran's top nuclear negotiator and deputy foreign minister Abbas Araqchi said he is not optimistic about negotiations with P5+1, ISNA news agency reported on March 1.
Araqchi went on to say that there are difficult and complicated issues in the nuclear talks' agenda.
He added that Iran is also pessimistic about the western side's intentions.
Iran and the P5+1 (Russia, China, France, Germany, UK and the US) signed an interim deal on Iran's nuclear energy program in Geneva on November 24, 2013. The deal took effect on January 20.
Under the agreement, six major powers agreed to give Iran access to its $4.2 billion in revenues blocked overseas, in case if the country fulfils the deal's terms, which offer sanctions relief in exchange for steps on curbing the Iranian nuclear program.
Iran and P5+1 aim at continuing their talks to reach a final agreement to fully resolve the decade-old dispute over the Islamic Republic's nuclear energy program.
The next round of negotiations will begin with a meeting between technical experts from the P5+1 and Iran early next month.
This will also be followed by a meeting between EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs, Catherine Ashton and Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in Vienna on March 17.
Araqchi also said the nuclear cooperation issue including building light water research reactors, modern fuels and research cooperation will also be discussed during the next round of negotiations in Vienna.
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 researches instead.