Iran nuclear team departs for Geneva talks
Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec. 15
By Umid Niayesh - Trend:
Iran's nuclear negotiating team headed by deputy foreign minister, Abbas Araqchi left Tehran on Dec. 15 early morning for Geneva to take part in a fresh round of talks with the P5+1 group.
The Iranian delegation is scheduled to attend in the first round of talks which will be held after extension of negotiation deadline between Iran and P5+1 on Nov.24, the Islamic Republic Fars news agency reported.
The Iranian negotiating team includes deputy foreign ministers Abbas Araqchi and Majid Takht Ravanchi, foreign ministry's Director General for Political and International Affairs Hamid Baeedinejad and foreign ministry's advisor Doavoud Mohammadnia as well as directors from the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Mohammad Amiri and Pejman Rahimian.
Iranian officials and the US delegation headed by the acting Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman will hold bilateral talks on 13:00 local time(GMT+1) on Dec. 15.
The Iranian negotiators will also hold bilateral talks with French delegation on Dec. 16.
Earlier the US State Department said that Sherman would hold bilateral talks with the Iranian delegation in Geneva on Dec. 15 and 16.
"These bilateral consultations will take place in the context of the P5+1 nuclear negotiations with Iran, led by EU special advisor Catherine Ashton," the State Department said in a statement.
The US-Iran bilateral talks would be joined for part of the meeting by the EU's Helga Schmid, it added.
Iran and the P5+1 group (the US, UK, France, Russia, China plus Germany) agreed to extend nuclear talks until July 1, 2015 after failing to meet the 24 Nov. deadline to reach a comprehensive nuclear agreement.
The sides also extended the Geneva nuclear deal, which was signed last November for providing Iran with some sanctions relief in exchange for Tehran agreeing to limit certain aspects of its nuclear activities.
The US and its west allies suspects Iran of developing a nuclear weapon - something that Irandenies. The Islamic Republic has on numerous occasions stated that it does not seek to develop nuclear weapons, using nuclear technology for electricity generation and medical purposes instead.
Umid Niayesh is Trend Agency's staff journalist, follow him on Twitter:@UmidNiayesh