Security Tightened as FMs Head to Geneva
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Authorities in the Swiss city of Geneva tightened security measures after reports said that foreign ministers from some members of the Group 5+1 will join the ongoing nuclear negotiations with the Iranian representatives.
As the second day of nuclear talks between Iran and the six world powers started in Geneva today, foreign ministers of some members of the Group 5+1 as well as Switzerland, as the host country, are reportedly joining the ongoing talks, a sign that a historic deal is looming.
Tehran and world powers ended the first day of talks on Thursday with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif saying a deal could be reached "before we close these negotiations”.
Meanwhile, a large number of Swiss security forces have reportedly intensified security measures around the venue of the nuclear talks, with their explosive-detecting dogs capable of finding harmful substances.
As diplomatic efforts are intensified to reach an agreement between Iran and the G5+1 (the five permanent UN Security Council members plus Germany), French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius arrived in Geneva to attend the tight negotiations, raising hopes that an agreement may be under discussion.
In the meantime, US Secretary of State John Kerry also plans to travel to the Swiss city to take part in the negotiations.
Kerry will go to the Swiss city "in an effort to help narrow differences in negotiations" and at the invitation of EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, a senior State Department official said.
Moreover, Swiss Foreign Minister Didier Burkhalter is also preparing to head to Geneva to join his other counterpart in the ongoing negotiations.
According to some sources, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and British Foreign Secretary William Hague are highly anticipated to travel to Switzerland, raising possibility of a forthcoming deal.
However, the Russian ITAR-TASS news agency later said that Lavrov will not join the talks underway in Geneva.
According to Tasnim dispatches, William Hague and German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle will join six-power talks with Iran on Friday.
Hague announced his participation on Twitter and a diplomatic source confirmed Westerwelle would also attend, Reuters reported on Friday.
Meanwhile, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who is also the country’s chief nuclear negotiator, has reportedly announced that he is ready to stay in Geneva to see his US counterpart, John Kerry, join the talks.
Earlier on Thursday, Zarif said an "understanding or agreement" between Iran and the Group 5+1 on Tehran's nuclear program may be possible as soon as Friday.