Iran daily: Zarif, Kerry, & EU’s Ashton to hold nuclear talks next week

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, US Secretary of State John Kerry, and the lead negotiator for the 5+1 Powers, European Union foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, will hold nuclear talks in Vienna next Tuesday.

EU spokesman Michael Mann confirmed the discussion in a statement on Wednesday, following the Iranian Foreign Ministry’s announcement that preparations are underway for another set of high-level negotiations on a comprehensive nuclear agreement.

The discussions come amid rising concern that no deal will be reached before expiry of interim arrangements on November 24.

The last set of high-level negotiations, which lasted 10 days, ended in New York on September 27. Iranian officials said significant gaps remained, notably over the number and level of Iran’s centrifuges for uranium enrichment.

Zarif showed pessimism on Tuesday, telling former French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin:

The talks have reached a critical stage and Iran has put many proposals on the table, now the other side has to show their determination to reach an agreement. Unfortunately greed by some of the opposing members has prevented reaching an agreement.

However, President Rouhani, having said earlier that difficulties remained, expressed hope that “there is no difference between the two sides” over key issues: “There is difference only about details and the quantity of matters.”

Report: Ahmadinejad’s Vice President Gets 14-Year Sentence for Fraud

Reports are circulating that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s 1st Vice President, Mohammad Reza Rahimi, has finally been given a long prison sentence after years of claims that he was involved in a major insurance fraud:

Dozens of defendants have been tried for the multi-millon dollar fraud, but Rahimi, Vice President from September 2009 to August 2013, was only formally investigated after he left office.

Last month, Iran Prosecutor General Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejei said Rahimi had been convicted, but gave no details.

By EA WorldView


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