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Iranian FM eyeing ministerial meet with P5+1 after Geneva nuclear talks

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Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Monday it will be “necessary” to have a new ministerial meeting with the P5+1 world powers after the Geneva talks on Tuesday.

The talks are aimed at reaching an agreement over Teheran’s nuclear program.

“I hope that we will be able to reach a roadmap by Wednesday but... it will probably be necessary to have a new ministerial meeting,” Agence France-Presse quoted Zarif as saying on his Facebook page late Sunday.

Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi will lead the talks in Geneva that are due to take place between October 15-16. Six world powers, including Britain and France, will take part in the first round of talks since Iranian President Hassan Rowhani took office.

Araqchi, speaking to the state broadcaster on Sunday, said the “plan that will be presented by Zarif to the P5+1 countries during the opening session... has been prepared so that there can be no pretext to refuse it,” according to AFP.

He did not give any further details on the plan but said uranium enrichment was a “red line” for the Islamic republic.

“We will negotiate about the volume, levels and the methods of enrichment but shipping out the [enriched] material is a red line for Iran,” Araqchi said.

While the West and Israel believe Iran’s nuclear program is aimed at obtaining atomic weapons, Tehran insists it has a “right” to operate a uranium enrichment program on its soil for civilian projects.

Iran currently has a stockpile of 6,774 kilograms of low-level enriched uranium, and nearly 186 kilograms of medium-enriched material with 20 percent purity, according to latest figures released by the U.N. nuclear watchdog in September, AFP reported.

(With AFP)