TEHRAN – Iran and the six world powers began a new round of talks on Tuesday which is aimed at finding a comprehensive solution to the decade-old dispute over Tehran’s nuclear program.
The meeting between negotiators from Iran, the United States, France, Germany, Britain, China and Russia was chaired by Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton in the Austrian capital of Vienna.
“We are involved in very detailed and substantial negotiations and we are trying as hard as we can to drive the process forward,” said Ashton’s spokesman, Michael Mann, according to Reuters.
“What matters most to us is that there is a good agreement. Clearly we want to make progress as fast as possible but the most important thing is the quality of the agreement,” Mann said.
“It has to be a good agreement that everyone is happy with. So we will work as hard as we can to achieve that.”
The six nations have agreed internally to have a draft text of an accord by the end of May or early June, one diplomat from the powers said.
The next round of talks, which would involve drafting the final deal, will be a “complicated, difficult, and slow” process, Zarif wrote on his facebook page prior to the meeting.
The Vienna talks are meant to build on an interim deal reached between Iran and the 5+1 group (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany) in Geneva on November 24, 2013, according to which Iran agreed not to expand its nuclear program for six months in exchange for limited sanctions relief.