TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Negotiators from Iran and the Groups 5+1 – Russia, China, the US, Britain, France and Germany – will meet in the Austrian capital next week, making an apparent last-ditch effort to hammer out a comprehensive agreement on Tehran’s civilian nuclear program before November 24.
The negotiations will kick off on November 18 in Vienna, where has already hosted several rounds of talks on Tehran’s peaceful nuclear program.
The upcoming round of talks will reportedly begin with a meeting between Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and Catherine Ashton, a former European Union foreign policy chief who still liaises with Iran on behalf of the six powers.
The talks will take place with less than a week to go before the self-imposed November 24 deadline to reach a diplomatic settlement to resolve the West’s decade-old standoff over Iran’s peaceful nuclear energy program.
Diplomats say main stumbling blocks to a long-awaited agreement remain to be the future scope of Iran’s uranium enrichment activity and a procedure or timetable for the removal of anti-Iran sanctions.
On November 24, 2013, Iran and the Group 5+1 (also referred to as the P5+1 or E3+3) signed an interim nuclear deal in the Swiss city of Geneva.
The Geneva deal (the Joint Plan of Action) came into effect in January and expired in July, when the parties decided to extend negotiations until November 24 in the hope of clinching a final, lasting accord.
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