Iran’s FM, EU’s Ashton to attend working lunch in Vienna

Zarif-Ashton
Zarif-Ashton

Week-long negotiations between Iran and P5+1 are to get underway in Vienna today, it still remains to be seen whether or not it will yield a final deal.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has traveled to the Austrian capital, Vienna, to take part in a new round of nuclear talks with P5+1.

On Tuesday morning, Zarif, who heads Iran’s negotiating team, left Tehran for Vienna, where he is scheduled to attend a working lunch with Catherine Ashton, the chief negotiator of the six world powers, later in the day.

The two senior diplomats are expected to review the progress of ongoing talks on Tehran’s nuclear issue and look into ways to continue the discussions.

The new round of talks between Iran and the world powers in Vienna is slated to last for one week from November 18 to 24.

Representatives from Iran and the P5+1 group – Russia, China, France, Britain, the US and Germany – wrapped up their latest talks over Iran’s nuclear energy program in the Omani capital, Muscat, on November 11.

The extent of Iran’s uranium enrichment and the timetable for the removal of anti-Iran sanction were high on the agenda of Muscat negotiations.

Iran and its negotiating sides are in talks to work out a final deal aimed at ending the longstanding standoff over the Islamic Republic’s civilian nuclear work as a November 24 deadline draws near.

Sources close to the Iranian negotiating team say the main stumbling block in the way of resolving the Western dispute over Iran’s nuclear energy program remains to be the removal of all the bans imposed on the country, and not the number of centrifuges or the level of uranium enrichment.

Tehran wants the sanctions entirely lifted while Washington, under pressure from the pro-Israeli lobby, insists that at least the UN-imposed sanctions should remain in place.

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