Iran agrees on decisive nuclear talk agenda

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (L), EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Catherine Ashton (C) and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (2nd R) speak together during the closed-door nuclear talks. (File photo: Reuters)

Iran and six world powers have agreed on an agenda for negotiations over Tehran’s disputed nuclear program and will meet again in March in Vienna, a senior Iranian official was quoted as saying according to Agence France-Presse.

“We had three very productive days during which we have identified all the issues we need to address to reach a comprehensive and final agreement,” Catherine Ashton, the EU's top diplomat who convened the talks between Iran and the six powers said after talks in the Austrian capital.

“There is a lot to do, it won’t be easy but we have made a good start,” Ashton told reporters.

“We have set a timetable of meetings, initially over the next four months with a framework to continue our deliberations,” she said.

The semi-official Iranian news agency Fars said the next round of meetings would be held from March 17-20.

Meanwhile, Abbas Araqchi was quoted by IRNA decade-old standoff over Tehran’s atomic activities saying: "After two days of intensive talks, Iran and world powers reached an agreement on the framework and plan of action for the comprehensive nuclear talks."

Negotiators from Iran and the six powers - the United States, France, Germany, Britain, China and Russia - have been meeting since Tuesday in the Austrian capital to hammer out an agenda for reaching an ambitious final settlement for an agenda framework. 

The negotiations, likely to extend over several months, could help defuse years of hostility between energy-exporting Iran and the West, ease the danger of a new war in the Middle East, transform the regional power balance and open up major business opportunities for Western firms.

The six powers hope to get a deal done by late July, when an interim accord struck in November expires.

The November agreement, made possible by the election of relative moderate President Hassan Rowhani on a platform of ending Iran's international isolation, obliged Tehran to suspend its most sensitive atom work in return for some relief from economic sanctions.

As part of a final deal, Iran expects the United States, the European Union and the United Nations to lift painful economic sanctions, but western governments will be wary of giving up their leverage too soon.

During a decade of on-and-off dialogue with world powers, Iran has rejected their allegations that it is seeking a nuclear weapons capability. It says it is enriching uranium only for electricity generation and medical purposes.
 

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:42 - GMT 06:42
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