Zarif, Ashton meet ahead of new round of nuclear talks
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has met with EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton ahead of a new round of talks between Iran and the Sextet of world powers, PressTV reported.
On Monday, Zarif and Ashton attended a working dinner session in the Austrian capital Vienna on the eve of the new round of talks between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council - China, Russia, Britain, France and the United States -- plus Germany.
The Iranian foreign minister and the EU foreign policy chief discussed the way the talks will resume on Tuesday between delegations from the Islamic Republic and the world powers.
Iran's nuclear negotiating team, led by Zarif, left Tehran for Vienna earlier in the day.
The upcoming talks will reportedly focus on new and advanced centrifuges as well as the Arak heavy water reactor.
On Saturday, Zarif said the next round of the nuclear talks between the Islamic Republic and the six major world powers will be held with a view to Tehran's "rights and interests."
The negotiations are aimed at reaching a comprehensive accord on the Islamic Republic's nuclear energy program after the two sides clinched a landmark interim deal in the Swiss city of Geneva last November.
Under the Geneva deal, which was implemented on January 20, the six countries undertook to provide Iran with some sanctions relief in exchange for Iran agreeing to limit certain aspects of its nuclear activities during a six-month period. It was also agreed that no nuclear-related sanctions will be imposed on Iran within the same timeframe.
Zarif is accompanied by Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs Seyyed Abbas Araqchi, Deputy Foreign Minister for European and American Affairs Majid Takht-e-Ravanchi, Director General for Political and International Affairs at Iran's Foreign Ministry Hamid Ba'eedinejad, Foreign Minister's Legal Adviser Davoud Mohammadnia and Director General for Safeguards at the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Mohammad Amiri.
The Sextet will be represented by US Undersecretary of State Wendy Sherman, British Foreign Office Political Director Simon Gass, French Foreign Ministry Political Director Jacques Audibert, German Foreign Ministry Advisor Hans-Dieter Lucas, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov and China's representative Wang Min.