Iran, US, EU top negotiators to meet in Vienna this afternoon

TEHRAN (FNA)- High-ranking Iranian and are due to hold a trilateral meeting with EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton in Vienna this afternoon, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Monday.

“Trilateral negotiations will be held among Iran, the US and Mrs. Ashton after a working luncheon (between Ashton and me),” Zarif told FNA during the Tehran-Vienna flight.

Zarif and his accompanying team of negotiators arrived in Vienna today to participate in the fifth round of talks between Tehran and the six major world powers in the Austrian capital from June 16-20.

The Iranian delegation is led by Zarif. The talks are scheduled to start by a working luncheon between Zarif and Ashton.

On Saturday, Zarif told FNA that Ashton and he 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.

Given the remarks by the Iranian foreign minister that a trilateral meeting is due to be held among Iran, US and Ashton as well as some bilateral meetings between Iran and members of the G5+1, the multilateral talks between Iran and the world powers will most likely start on Tuesday.

The two sides have said that they are resolved to start drafting a long-awaited final deal in this round of talks.

Upon arrival at Vienna airport, Zarif told reporters that Iran and the G5+1 have one month to reach a comprehensive deal and “if the other side is ready, we will (also) be prepared to draft the final agreement”.

“Whenever the other side is ready to enter talks seriously, there will be a possibility for reaching results,” he added.

Zarif also noted the fatwa (religious decree) issued by Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei against the production and use of the nuclear weapons, and said it provides an “objective guarantee” to ensure the opposite sides that Iran’s nuclear program will remain peaceful.

His remarks came after senior Iranian and German diplomats in a meeting in Tehran on Sunday stressed the necessity for the negotiating sides in the upcoming multilateral talks in Vienna to start drafting a final nuclear deal between Iran and the six world powers.

Following two hours of bilateral talks between senior Iranian and German negotiating teams in Tehran on Sunday afternoon, Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister and senior negotiator Seyed Abbas Araqchi told FNA that the two sides exchanged views over the topics which are due to be covered in the multilateral nuclear negotiations between Iran and the G5+1 in Vienna on Monday.

“These (bilateral) talks which were carried out on the verge of the next round of negotiations in Vienna were of special importance,” Araqchi said, and added, “During the talks, the two sides laid emphasis on the need to start drafting the text of the final deal in the (Monday) negotiations.”

Araqchi, who is also Iran’s deputy lead negotiator, said the “consultations with Germany will continue in Vienna”.

A team of high-ranking German negotiators arrived in Tehran on Friday to discuss bilateral ties and the latest developments in the Vienna nuclear talks in meetings with senior Iranian officials. The delegation is led by Germany’s envoy to the multilateral Iran-world powers nuclear talks Hans Dieter Lucas.

In November 2013, Iran and the six 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.

Prior to the next round of the multilateral talks, Iran and the powers decided to hold a series of talks to narrow down their differences. Thus, the Iranian negotiating team has had a series of bilateral talks with most of the members of the G5+1 during the last 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.

The Iranian team then met with the Russian negotiators, including Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov, on the sidelines of the Disarmament Conference in Rome on Wednesday.

The Iranian diplomats who were headed by Araqchi and Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for European and American affairs Majid Takht Ravanchi then met with the French for more than 3 hours of “useful talks in a positive atmosphere” in Geneva on Wednesday.

“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 G5+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 meeting.

By Fars News Agency

 

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