Iran sees more ‘good steps’ ahead in nuclear talks

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif gestures as he addresses a news conference after a meeting in Vienna November 24, 2014. (Reuters)

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Wednesday that nuclear talks with major powers were being conducted in a good atmosphere, "good steps" had been taken and more would be taken.

U.S. and Iranian diplomats began a two-day meeting in Geneva on Monday to pave the way for resuming broader negotiations involving Iran and six world powers there on Wednesday.

The discussions were proceeding "in a good atmosphere," Zarif said on state television. "Good steps have been taken, and more will be taken. I think the world needs this settlement, in light of challenges facing us, like the threat of terrorism. It is in everyone's interest."

Political directors of the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council and Germany -- the so-called P5+1 -- are holding a one-day meeting in Geneva with the Iranians, mediated by the European Union.

An EU spokeswoman in the Swiss city told AFP the talks had begun, without giving further details. No announcements are expected after the discussions conclude.

The U.S. and Iranian delegations met on Monday and Tuesday in Geneva in preparation for the multilateral talks, led by Acting Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman and Iran's deputy foreign minister Abbas Araqchi.

The P5+1, which comprises China, the United States, France, Russia, Britain and Germany, last held formal talks with the Iranians last month in Vienna.

They failed to meet a November 24 deadline for a comprehensive deal with Iran on reining in its nuclear program in exchange for an easing of crippling international sanctions.

All parties agreed to give themselves seven more months -- until June 30 -- to strike a deal, although they said they hoped to have the broad outlines hammered out by March.

A final agreement is aimed at ensuring Tehran will never develop nuclear weapons under the guise of its civilian activities.

Iran denies that it is seeking the bomb and insists its nuclear activities are for solely peaceful purposes.
 

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:44 - GMT 06:44
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