|Ashton hopes new Iran talks can start in a few weeks||
TEHRAN – European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said on Monday she hopes a new round of negotiations with Iran on a definitive settlement to a decade-old nuclear standoff could start within a few weeks, Reuters reported.
“Depending on how things work out today, I hope that we will start talks within the next few weeks,” she told reporters as she arrived for an EU foreign ministers’ meeting in Brussels.
Later on the day, the UN nuclear agency gave a green light to the full implementation of an interim deal on Iran’s nuclear program.
Iran and the 5+1 group (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany) clinched a landmark deal 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.
The Geneva agreement is designed to provide time to negotiate a comprehensive nuclear deal.
A diplomatic source had previously told Reuters that Iran and the 5+1 group would “very likely” resume negotiations in February.
The diplomatic source had also said that the first meeting between Iran and the six major powers would include Ashton and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.
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