Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Iran, six powers hold fresh nuclear talks in Vienna

Iran and six world powers have held a new round of talks in Vienna to discuss the outstanding issues over Tehran's nuclear energy program as part of efforts to reach a final accord.

Representatives of Iran and the six states – Russia, China, France, Britain, the US and Germany – held their eighth round of negotiations this year on Tehran’s nuclear energy program in Austrian capital on Thursday.

The talks were led by Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and EU foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton.

Following the discussions, Iranian negotiators held an expert-level meeting with their counterparts from France, Britain and Germany in the Austrian city.

Moreover, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs Seyyed Abbas Araqchi, also a top nuclear negotiator, held separate talks with senior Chinese and Russian negotiators.

The Thursday talks came a day after closed-door trilateral discussions between Zarif, Ashton and US Secretary of State John Kerry in the Austrian capital.

The Iranian foreign minister said on Thursday that he will sit down for another trilateral meeting with Ashton and Kerry in a city other than Vienna within the next three or four weeks.

Iran and the six countries, also known as the P5+1 group, are currently in talks to sort out their differences and reach a comprehensive agreement aimed at ending the longstanding dispute over Iran’s civilian nuclear activities as a November 24 deadline approaches.

Last November, the two sides clinched an interim nuclear deal, which took effect on January 20 and expired six months later. However, they agreed to extend their talks until November 24, as they remained split on a number of key issues.

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