Iran and the 5+1 Powers will renew nuclear discussions in Vienna on February 18.
After days of maneuvers and false-start announcements, both Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and the lead negotiator for the 5+1 Powers, the European Union’s Catherine Ashton, confirmed the news on Friday after a meeting on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference.
The Vienna talks will open discussions on a comprehensive agreement to follow up November’s interim deal. Under that deal, Iran agreed to suspend enrichment of uranium to 20% while the US and its partners began the lifting of some sanctions.
The comprehensive agreement seeks to resolve all matters on a long-term basis, including the status of Iranian facilities such as the Arak heavy-water reactor, due on-line in late 2014.
Revolutionary Guards Dismisses “Direct Relations with America”
The commander of the the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps’ navy, Ali Fadavi, has said:
The enemies of the Revolution create the false illusion in the minds of our youth that the basis of Iran’s progress is through direct relations with America. But have those who have direct relations with America progressed more than Iran? It is not possible to find a regional or non-regional country that has progressed more in different areas than Iran.
Head of Atomic Energy: IAEA Inspections Going Smoothly
The head of the Atomic Energy Organization, Ali Akbar Salehi, has said inspections of Iran’s nuclear facilities by the International Atomic Energy Agency are going smoothly.
IAEA inspectors visited the Gachin uranium mine this week, part of arrangements agreed with Tehran in November. The six-point plan also includes inspections of the complex at the Arak heavy-water reactor.
Salehi said that Iran has already suspended its uranium enrichment activities beyond 5%, as promised in November’s interim nuclear deal with the 5+1 Powers.
By EA WorldView
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