Representatives from Iran and the United States are set to begin bilateral negotiations over the Islamic Republic‘s nuclear energy program in Geneva on Thursday.
The Iranian negotiating team will be led by Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs Seyyed Abbas Araqchi. The American team is headed by US Deputy Secretary of State Bill Burns and US Undersecretary of State Wendy Sherman.
The talks are meant to prepare the grounds for a final nuclear deal between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany, before a deadline in November.
The negotiations between the two sides will continue in the Swiss city on Friday.
“Deputy Secretary of State William J. Burns, Under Secretary for Political Affairs Wendy R. Sherman, and Senior Advisor Jacob J. Sullivan will meet with Iranian officials in Geneva on September 4-5,” the State Department said in an announcement on Wednesday.
The announcement further specified that the talks between the two sides will be led by chief negotiator of the Sextet of world powers Catherine Ashton.
“These bilateral consultations will take place in the context of the P5+1 nuclear negotiations led by EU High Representative Cathy Ashton,” it added.
Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council – the United States, France, Britain, Russia and China – plus Germany are in talks to reach a final agreement aimed at resolving the standoff over Tehran’s civilian nuclear work.
The two sides signed a historic interim deal in Geneva last November. The agreement entered into force on January 20 and expired six months later. In July, Tehran and the six states agreed to extend their negotiations until November 24 in a bid to work out a final accord.
The next round of talks between Iran and the six countries will be held in New York later this month.