Iran, US, EU start second round of nuclear talks
Baku, Azerbaijan, Nov. 21
By Dalga Khatinoglu - Trend:
Iran's foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif started the second round of trilateral talks with Secretary of State John Kerry and 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 Nov. 21.
Iran, the U.S. and EU held trilateral nuclear talks on Thursday as well.
IRNA reported on Nov.21 that Zarif is to also meet with Philip Hammond and Laurent Fabius, the UK and France foreign ministers to negotiate the comprehensive nuclear deal today.
Abbas Araqchi the deputy of Iran's FM has been negotiating a comprehensive nuclear deal with China and Russia on Nov.20 and Nov.21.
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 the 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 the post as EU foreign policy chief, but still represents P5+1 in nuclear talks.
Iran and the US also have had three rounds of nuclear talks during the 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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