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                                        Volume. 12116

Incoming EU chief diplomat upbeat on prospects for Iran nuclear deal
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TEHRAN -- Italian Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini, who has recently been appointed by the European Council to replace the UK’s Catherine Ashton as the European Union foreign policy chief, says she is optimistic that Iran and the six major powers will strike a final nuclear deal soon. 
 
In an interview with the Italian daily Corriere della Sera published on Monday, Mogherini said Iran’s nuclear program is “a short step away from agreement.”
 
“… the Iranian nuclear program issue should now be a short step away from agreement, which I hope will come in November.”
 
On the issue of the Middle East, Mogherini emphasized that Iran and Saudi Arabia can play a positive role in the stability of the region and said the rapprochement between the two countries would be a step forward. 
 
“Till recently, it would have been unimaginable for Iran and Saudi Arabia to sit at the same table,” she said. 
 
Mogherini described the Middle East as a major front for EU’s international engagement and said that the block should do its utmost to prevent the spread of terrorism by extremist groups like the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant. 
 
“Europe can and must facilitate dialogue among the various regional powers, recognizing them as such and seeking to bring closer together the countries that perceive ISIL as a common threat,” she noted. 
 
Mogherini is expected to meet Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in Rome on Wednesday. 
 
 

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