Iran and six world powers have wrapped up their third round of talks aimed at reaching a comprehensive deal on Tehran’s nuclear energy program.
The talks, which started on Tuesday in Vienna, ended on Wednesday between deputy foreign ministers of Iran and the six powers – the US, France, Britain, Russia, China and Germany.
After the end of the talks, Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Iran and the world powers agreed to meet again on May 13.
“We are entering the next stage of talks and we try to narrow bridges,” Zarif said in a joint press conference with EU foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton.
Ashton, for her part, said “a lot of intensive work” is still needed to bridge differences about Iran’s nuclear program.
“We now move to the next stage of the negotiations in which we will aim to bridge the gaps in all the key areas and work on the concrete elements of a possible comprehensive agreement,” she said.
Iran and the world powers reached an interim deal on November 24, 2013, in the Swiss city of Geneva. The deal took effect on January 20.
Under the Geneva deal, the six countries undertook to provide Iran with some sanctions relief in exchange for Iran agreeing to limit certain aspects of its nuclear activities during a six-month period. It was also agreed that no nuclear-related sanctions would be imposed on Iran within the same timeframe.
On Wednesday, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei said Iran’s nuclear research and development activities will never stop.