Iran FM heads to Geneva to meet Kerry ahead of fresh nuclear talks

Iran-USA

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif is to hold talks in Geneva with his US counterpart John Kerry as Tehran and P5+1 are set to start a new round of nuclear negotiations.

The Wednesday meeting between Zarif and Kerry is aimed at bridging the existing differences between the two sides ahead of the official start of the next round of discussions over Tehran’s nuclear energy program on January 18.

Deputy foreign ministers from the Iranian and American delegations will then launch bilateral nuclear talks on Thursday.

Iranian Deputy Foreign Ministers Abbas Araghchi and Majid Takht Ravanchi accompany Zarif during this round of talks, while Kerry is joined by US undersecretaries of state William Burns and Wendy Sherman.

Nuclear negotiators from Iran and P5+1 – Russia, China, France, Britain, the US and Germany – wrapped up their latest round of talks on Tehran’s nuclear issue in Geneva on December 17, 2014.

The Geneva discussions were held almost three weeks after Tehran and the six countries failed to reach a final agreement by a November 24 deadline despite making some progress.

The two sides agreed to extend their discussions for seven more months until July 1, 2015. They also agreed that the interim deal they had signed in Geneva in November 2013 should remain in place during the negotiations.

Major thorny issues in the nuclear discussions include the future extent of Tehran’s uranium enrichment as well as a timetable for the removal of anti-Iran sanctions.

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