Tehran, Iran, Nov. 20
By Dalga Khatinoglu - Trend:
Iran's foreign minister and the deputy Secretary of State started trilateral nuclear talks, accompanied by Catherine Ashton, the former head of High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy for the European Union, who still heads the P5+1 in nuclear talks with Iran in Vienna.
IRNA reported on Nov.20 that Iran's FM Mohammad Javad Zarif, the deputy Secretary of State William Burns and Mrs.Ashton started talks, while it is expected the United States Secretary of State John Kerry would join the nuclear talks in upcoming hours.
The new round of nuclear talks between Iran and P5+1 started on Tuesday, but only bilateral and trilateral talks have been held.
Mrs. Ashton was the head of High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy for the European Union until Nov.1 and the head of P5+1 teams in nuclear talks with Iran. Though Ashton delivered his post as EU foreign policy chief, but still represent P5+1 in nuclear talks.
Iran and the US also have had three rounds of nuclear talks during last three days.
Iran and P5+1 (the US, Britain, France, Russia and China plus Germany) is negotiating to reach a comprehensive nuclear deal by Nov.24.
IRNA reported that the current nuclear talks pass "contracted and slowly".
In Washington, during testimony Wednesday before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Tony Blinken, President Obama's nominee to be deputy Secretary of State to replace Burns, indicated that meeting the deadline appears unlikely.
"Right now, I think it's going to be difficult to get where we want to go. It's not impossible. It depends entirely on whether Iran is willing to take the steps it must take to convince us, to convince our partners that its program would be entirely for peaceful purposes. As we speak, we're not there. The Secretary of State is prepared to engage directly and personally if we have enough to move this over the goal line, but it is literally a minute-to-minute, hour-to-hour thing," said Blinken.
British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said on Wednesday that he is less optimistic about reaching a comprehensive nuclear deal by Nov.24.
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