Iran, World Powers Wrap Up Expert-Level Talks in Geneva
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Experts from Iran and the six world powers ended two days of technical talks in Geneva, where they tried to develop mechanisms for implementing the interim deal signed between the two sides in November.
The intensive expert-level talks started on Monday morning and continued until Tuesday morning.
The Iranian technical delegation is scheduled to come back to Tehran today and the team will brief political directors about the outcomes of the talks.
Senior negotiators from Iran and the Group 5+1 (the five permanent UN Security Council members plus Germany) will reportedly hold political meeting next week.
The expert-level talks were aimed at finding ways of putting into practice the nuclear deal signed between the two sides in November.
Iran and the Group 5+1 (also known as P5+1 or E3+3) on November 24 signed a six-month deal on Tehran’s nuclear program based on which the world powers agreed to suspend some non-essential sanctions and to impose no new nuclear-related bans in return for Tehran's decision to freeze parts of its nuclear activities and to allow more inspection of its nuclear facilities.
The goal is to create a breathing space for a comprehensive agreement to be negotiated that the sides hope will be able to resolve for good the standoff over Iran's nuclear program after a decade of on-off meetings and failed attempts.
Earlier on December 9, the two sides held a meeting of nuclear, sanctions and finance experts in the Austrian capital of Vienna, which also involved representatives from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
But the four-day talks in Vienna came to a halt when 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.
The US Treasury Department on December 12 slapped sanctions against more than a dozen companies and individuals for evading US sanctions against Iran.
Thereafter, Iran and the six countries convened another expert-level meeting in Geneva on December 19-22.
Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs Seyed Abbas Araqchi, who is also one of the country's nuclear negotiators, said on Sunday that the success in the fresh round of talks will pave the way for implementation of the Geneva accord.
He said Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, who oversees diplomacy with Iran on behalf of the six nations, are scheduled to conduct regular negotiations within the next five months.
“I guess if the expert-level talks in Geneva go on successfully, the implementation of the Geneva interim nuclear deal will take place later in January,” he added.
During the latest talks in Geneva, Hamid Baeedinejad, the director general for political and international affairs at Iran’s foreign ministry, led the Iranian delegation made up of nuclear experts and experts on the banking, transport and oil sector sanctions.
And Stephen Clement, who is an aide to the European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, led the opposite negotiating team which was made up of technical experts from the six countries.