Zarif, Kerry ends nuclear talks in Lausanne

Lausanne, March 28, IRNA – The fourth round of talks between Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and US Secretary of State John Kerry ended in the Swiss town of Lausanne on Saturday.

After the 1.5-hour meeting, the US Secretary of State John Kerry is scheduled to meet with French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius within coming minutes.

Head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization Ali Akbar Salehi, US Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz, deputies to Iranian foreign minister Abbas Araqchi and Majid Takht Ravanchi, US Assistant Secretary of State Wendy Sherman, and EU Foreign Policy Deputy Chief Helga Schmidt were present in the meeting.

Zarif arrived in Geneva Wednesday night to hold a new round of talks with his American counterpart in Lausanne on Thursday.

The new round of nuclear talks started on Thursday March 26 in Lausanne and continues until Sunday.

Speaking to reporters in Tehran on Wednesday, Zarif said the negotiating team persists on the elimination of all sanctions, and would make maximum efforts for the next round of talks in Lausanne.

Speaking on Wednesday morning with senior US diplomats in Washington, Kerry said, “Anybody standing up in opposition to this [Iran talks] has an obligation to stand up and put a viable realistic alternative on the table. And I have yet to see anybody do that.”

He warned critics that a failure of the nuclear talks with Tehran would lead to the collapse of the current sanctions regime against the country.

The talks between the US and Iran are part of broader negotiations between the Islamic Republic and the P5+1 Group — Russia, China, Britain, France and the US plus Germany — to reach a comprehensive agreement on Tehran’s nuclear program as a deadline slated for July 1 draws closer.

The scale of Iran’s uranium enrichment and the timetable for the lifting of anti-Iran sanctions are seen as major sticking points in the talks.

The illegal sanctions on Iran have been imposed based on the unfounded accusation that Tehran is pursuing non-civilian objectives in its nuclear energy program.

Iran rejects the allegation, arguing that as a committed signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), it has the right to use nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.