Reports: Iran, U.S. open direct talks in Geneva on nuclear deal

European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton (L) and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif arrive for a news conference after talks in Vienna. (File photo: Reuters)

Iran and the United States on Monday began direct talks in Geneva aimed at ending Tehran’s stand-off with world powers over its disputed nuclear program, Iranian media reported.

The negotiations, which are expected to last two days, come ahead of a July 20 deadline for an accord to be reached between Iran and the so-called P5+1 group under an interim deal agreed in November.

The European Union’s political director, Helga Schmid, also attended Monday’s meeting in the Swiss city, according to the reports in Iran.

Iran’s nuclear pointman Abbas Araqchi said on Sunday that the tete-a-tete with American officials was essential as the nuclear negotiations are delicately poised and most of the sanctions against Tehran were from the United States.

Tehran and Washington, at odds since the 1979 Islamic revolution and the hostage crisis that followed, have in the past year taken tentative steps towards rapprochement.

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Last Update: 15:09 KSA 18:09 - GMT 15:09
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