Zarif, Kerry, Ashton to meet in Oman in early November
Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, US Secretary of State John Kerry and outgoing EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton will hold talks on Tehran's nuclear issue in Oman early next month, Press TV reported.
US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said on Friday that Zarif, Kerry and Ashton are slated to meet in the Omani capital Muscat on November 9-10 to discuss steps toward a comprehensive final deal on Iran's civilian nuclear work.
Iran and the P5+1 group -- Russia, China, France, Britain, the US and Germany -- are in talks to work out a final deal aimed at ending the longstanding standoff over the Islamic Republic's nuclear energy program as a November 24 deadline draws near.
Sources close to the Iranian negotiating team say the main stumbling block in the way of resolving the Western dispute over Iran's nuclear energy program remains to be the removal of all the bans imposed on the country, and not the number of centrifuges or the level of uranium enrichment.
Tehran wants the sanctions entirely lifted while Washington, under pressure from the pro-Israeli lobby, insists that at least the UN-imposed sanctions should remain in place.
On October 28, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for European and American Affairs Majid Takht-e-Ravanchi, a top nuclear negotiator, said the Iran-P5+1 talks should lead to the removal of sanctions against the Islamic Republic all at once, adding that Tehran is opposed to any gradual lifting of the bans.