|Araqchi says consultations with Russia, China was essential prior to nuclear talks||
TEHRAN – Abbas Araqchi, the Iranian deputy foreign minister, has said that it was essential to hold closer consultations with Russia and China prior to negotiations for a comprehensive nuclear deal which start on March 17 in Vienna, the Central News Bureau reported Thursday.
Araqchi held nuclear talks with his Russian counterpart Sergei Ryabkov in Moscow on Wednesday and his Chinese counterpart Xie Hansheng in Beijing on Thursday.
Araqchi, a lead nuclear negotiator, said in the meetings with his Russian and Chinese counterparts issues set on the agenda of the talks were discussed in order to facilitate efforts to clinch a final nuclear resolution.
As nuclear negotiations progress, the need to hold consultations increases, the top nuclear negotiator stated.
Iran and the 5+1 group (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany) clinched an interim 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 six-month interim agreement came into force on January 20. The deal is intended to design a comprehensive nuclear deal.
Araqchi also said some other issues such as developments in Ukraine were discussed during the meetings.
Iran and the 5+1 group held "substantive and useful" expert-level talks over Tehran's nuclear program on March 5-7. The talks were to prepare for the meeting of chief negotiators.
Both sides have made clear their political will to reach a long-term accord and have scheduled a series of meetings in the coming months.
"The talks are very serious and substantive and useful," said Hamid Baidinejad, the head of the Iranian delegation at the expert-level talks.
In Brussels, a spokeswoman for European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said, "I can confirm that the technical talks are over, they were substantive and useful."
Subscribe to our RSS feed to stay in touch and receive all of TT updates right in your feed reader