Iran-Sextet Meeting to Continue in Geneva amid Little Progress in Talks
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iran and the six major world powers are set to resume the expert-level talks for the fourth day in a row on Sunday in Geneva, Switzerland, whereas the ongoing talks that aim to find mechanisms for implementing the November nuclear deal are said to have made little progress.
Experts representing Iran and the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council -- the United States, China, Russia, France and Britain -- plus Germany have commenced holding expert-level talks since Thursday, aiming to find ways of putting into practice the nuclear deal they signed onto on November 24 in Geneva.
The negotiators are expected to hold another meeting for the fourth day on December 22.
Meanwhile, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs Abbas Araqchi announced on Saturday that the latest round of talks, now in progress in Geneva, have made little progress.
The fresh round of expert-level talks come a week after the first round of such negotiations which are aimed at developing mechanisms for implementing the interim deal signed last month came to a halt.
As part of the November accord, Iran accepted to suspend parts of its nuclear program for six months and allow for more inspections of its nuclear facilities in exchange for modest sanctions relief and a promise by western powers not to impose new nuclear-related sanctions.
During this confidence-building period, which has not yet begun, Iran and world powers aim to hammer out a long-term comprehensive accord to decisively end the standoff over Iran's nuclear program, which has been a further bone of contention between Iran and the West.
Hamid Baeedinejad, the director general for political and international affairs at Iran’s foreign ministry, leads the Iranian delegation made up of nuclear experts and experts on the banking, transport and oil sector sanctions.
Stephen Clement, who is an aide to the European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, heads the opposite negotiating team which is made up of technical experts from the six countries.
Experts held four days of talks in Vienna last week, but the Iranians walked out on December 12, after Washington expanded its sanctions blacklist against 19 firms and individuals it said were evading the already-existing sanctions against Tehran.
In a Tuesday meeting with Catherine Ashton in Brussels, Araqchi criticized the US officials for adopting counterproductive stances towards Iran, and urged them to “refrain from making provocative moves and remarks and avoid excessive demands.”
According to Araqchi, Tehran decided to attend the new round of talks after Ashton "made the assurance that the world powers, particularly the United States, will continue the talks in goodwill... and that they are serious about implementing the deal."