|Iran, major powers to resume technical talks soon||
TEHRAN – Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi says that Iran and world powers have agreed to resume technical talks over how to implement an interim deal on the country’s nuclear program in the near future.
Iran’s top nuclear negotiator made the remarks on Tuesday in Brussels after a meeting with EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, who has been representing Britain, China, France, Russia, the United States, and Germany in the talks with Iran over its nuclear program.
Tehran and the six major powers clinched a deal in Geneva on November 24 according to which Iran agreed to limit its nuclear program for six months in exchange for modest sanctions relief.
The Geneva agreement is designed to provide time to negotiate a comprehensive deal to help resolve Iran’s nuclear issue.
The first round of technical talks on the Geneva deal, which was held in Vienna last week, was interrupted by Iran in what appeared to be a response to a U.S. sanctions measure to blacklist additional companies and people under the existing sanctions against the country.
The U.S. sanctions measure against Iran drew widespread criticism from Iranian officials. Iran said the move was against the spirit of the Geneva deal.
U.S. officials say they have not violated the deal, arguing that their commitment under the deal referred to not imposing sanctions under new laws.
Araqchi also quoted Ashton as saying that world powers were committed to the Geneva accord and were determined to implement the agreement.
He also said that during the meeting he criticized the West, particularly U.S. officials, for adopting unconstructive approaches and said that the West must avoid taking provocative measures in order to help advance the process of talks.
Before the Tuesday meeting, Ashton told reporters, “I gather that he (Araqchi) is coming with some messages for me from Foreign Minister (Mohammad Javad) Zarif.”
“I am expecting us to move forward to agree on the implementation timetable as soon as possible. The ambition we have is to have a date agreed that is achievable,” she said, according to Reuters.
Britain’s Foreign Secretary William Hague has also warned that these discussions could take time, Reuters reported on Monday.
“While we have reached the interim deal, the details of implementation remain to be negotiated and there will be many difficulties in that, so we shouldn’t be surprised if these talks are difficult,” he told reporters.
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