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                                        Volume. 12119

Ashton has focused on trying to get a deal with Iran: spokesman
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c_330_235_16777215_0___images_stories_edim_02_am1(354).jpgTEHRAN – EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton has focused her efforts on securing a nuclear deal with Iran, her spokesman Michael Mann says.  
 
Ashton coordinates Iran’s nuclear talks on behalf of the major powers (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany known as the 5+1 group).
 
“The High Representative is focused on trying to get a deal as soon as possible. The most important thing is that it is a good and robust deal,” Mann said in an interview with the Nasimonline news agency published on Wednesday. 
 
Iran and the 5+1 group held an intense round of nuclear talks from June 16 to 20 in Vienna. Although the two sides were seriously engaged in the negotiations, only a moderate amount of progress was made in the most recent round of talks, and the two sides only managed to draw up a “working document” which is “heavily bracketed” due to the remaining disagreements. 
 
The current process of negotiations between Iran and the major powers are meant to build on a landmark interim nuclear deal they clinched last November in Geneva. 
 
Under the Geneva deal, Iran agreed not to expand its nuclear program for six months in exchange for limited sanctions relief. The agreement came into force on January 20. Iran and the major powers have set a July 20 deadline to clinch a long-term comprehensive nuclear deal. The deadline can be extended by another half year if both sides agree.   
 
The next round of talks is scheduled to begin on July 2 in the Austrian capital.   
 
It seems that the major powers’ unrealistic demands with regard to Iran’s uranium enrichment capacity under a comprehensive nuclear deal have hindered the progress of the negotiations.    
 
The main stumbling block to reaching a final nuclear agreement by the July 20 deadline is the issue of the number of centrifuges, although there are some other sticking points, including the types of centrifuges Iran uses, the mechanism for lifting the sanctions, and the duration of the implementation of the final deal.   
 
AM/PA

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Last Updated on 25 June 2014 16:55