Iran’s Zarif, EU foreign policy chief to meet in Vienna Monday noon

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Foreign Minister and Head of the country’s negotiating team in nuclear talks with the world powers Mohammad Javad Zarif is due to meet EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton in Vienna on Monday noon.

The fifth round of negotiations between Iran and the Group 5+1 (the US, Russia, China, Britain and France plus Germany) is due to take place in Vienna on June 16 to 20.

Zarif and Ashton have decided to meet each other for a luncheon at Iran’s office at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) headquarters in Vienna on Monday to discuss the latest developments in the talks between Tehran and the six world powers.

They will then decide if they should start the multilateral negotiations among the seven nations on Monday or Tuesday.

A senior Iranian delegation headed by two of Zarif’s deputies, Seyed Abbas Araqchi and Majid Takht Ravanchi, held separate bilateral meetings with most members of the G5+1 in Geneva and Rome earlier this week.

On Monday afternoon, representatives from Iran, EU and the United States had five hours of trilateral talks, followed by a bilateral meeting between the Iranian and American delegations in Geneva on Tuesday.

Araqchi held “specially important” talks with his Russian counterpart Sergei Ryabkov at Rome Airport on Wednesday night.

The Iranian team also held bilateral talks with the French negotiators in Geneva on Wednesday.

Araqchi said the Iranian and French teams of negotiators had over 3 hours of useful talks in a positive atmosphere.

“These talks on the threshold of the upcoming Vienna negotiations were useful,” Araqchi told FNA on Wednesday.

He said that the two sides discussed issues related to the nuclear talks as Iran and the Group 5+1 are preparing for the next round of talks in the Austrian capital.

The French foreign ministry’s new political director Nicolas de Rivière, who has replaced the longtime lead negotiator and political director Jacques Audibert, was leading France’s negotiating team in the Wednesday meeting.

Meantime, the German’s top envoy to the Iran-Group 5+1 talks Hans Deiter Lucas arrived in Tehran on Friday to meet his Iranian counterparts.

In November 2013, Iran and the world powers signed an interim nuclear deal in the Swiss city of Geneva that came into force on January 20. The deadline for attaining a final deal is July 20.

Iran and the six world powers last met in their fourth round of talks in Vienna on May 14-16. Since the November deal, the seven nations have been discussing ways to iron out differences and start drafting a final deal that would end the West’s dispute with Iran over the country’s nuclear energy program.

After the May meeting, Iran said there has been no tangible progress in writing the draft text of the agreement and it blamed the US for the failure, saying Washington has made excessive demands beyond the agreements made in the previous rounds of talks.

By Fars News Agency

 

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