Iran, E3 Start Bilateral Negotiations in Geneva
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Negotiators from Iran and three EU members of the G5+1, namely Britain, France and Germany started a session of bilateral talks which they hope can bring the views of both sides closer together.
According to Tasnim dispatches Iran’s team of nuclear negotiators started their session with representatives from Britain, France and Germany at the European headquarters of the UN in Geneva.
The first session of the new round of talks between Iran and the G5+1 was held at Palace of Nations (Palais des Nations). The talks will continue tomorrow.
The latest round of talks bring together Iranian officials and representatives of the permanent members of the UN Security Council (Britain, China, France, Russia and the US) plus Germany – known alternatively as the G5+1, P5+1 and E3+3.
“In the first session of the talks we had a review of the previous round of negotiations and decided to discuss ways of pursuing the talks and entering the details. In the previous round, Iran put forward a proposal on how to pursue the talks which was agreed upon in a session, and in this morning’s session they unanimously supported that proposal,” said Iran’s lead negotiator and deputy foreign minister Seyed Abbas Araqchi.
“We will have four sessions, one of which with the three EU countries and three others with the US, Russia and China,” he added.
He described bilateral meetings as being in line with the main negotiations, saying, “ as we move ahead the talks get tougher and the meetings will be held in smaller sessions .”
Araqchi had earlier said that the fresh round of negotiations was "a test of the political will of the G5+1 to reach a solution" to end the nuclear stalemate.
Earlier on Thursday, Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif admitted the talks - between Iran and the five permanent UN Security Council members and Germany - will be "very difficult."
"My colleagues and delegations from the G5+1 countries are starting very difficult negotiations because we have entered a detailed phase that is still difficult and precise," Zarif said on his Facebook page.
Ahead of the Thursday talks, Zarif had a meeting with EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton over breakfast which was described as a "good meeting."
Araqchi further said he is hopeful the sides can reach common ground for an accord at that meeting, with Ashton’s spokesman, Michael Mann, saying the talks have entered a “serious phase.”
Iran's deputy foreign minister said today that another round may be needed before an accord is reached.
Wendy Sherman, lead US negotiator, has expressed hopes that the talks will be a "first step" to resolving the issue, and said that Washington is prepared to offer Iran "very limited, temporary, reversible" relief from sanctions.