Iran, Sextet Find Common Ground on N. Deal Implementation: Official

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – A top Iranian nuclear negotiator said experts representing Iran and the six major world powers have reached common ground on how to carry out an interim deal signed between the two sides in November.

Iran, Sextet Find Common Ground on N. Deal Implementation: Official

“The two sides managed to reach an understanding on the implementation of the agreement and now, their views and interpretations (of the Geneva deal) are the same,” Hamid Baeedinejad, the director general for political and international affairs at Iran’s foreign ministry, said on Tuesday.

He made the remarks following two days of technical talks between experts from Iran and the six world powers (the US, Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany), which sought to find ways of putting into practice the nuclear deal signed between the two sides on November 24.

Baeedinejad was also in charge of leading the Iranian delegation made up of nuclear experts and experts on the banking, transport and oil sector sanctions during the two-day expert-level talks in the Swiss city of Geneva.

“Based on the conclusions (reached in) the talks held with the G5+1 expert delegations, the implementation of the Geneva accord will start in the third ten-day (period) of January,” the Iranian negotiator added.

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 in the day, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Seyed Abbas Araqchi said "good progress" has been made during the latest round of talks in Geneva.

Speaking to the Tasnim News Agency on Tuesday about the outcome of the two-day nuclear expert-level talks, Araqchi said, “Expert-level talks in Geneva ended at 7 am local time and good progress was made".

“In the third round of the technical and expert negotiations with the G5+1, we had relatively good progress, and the agreement was made on the executable mechanisms of the Geneva deal in most of the issues,” he added.

As regards an agreed date for taking the first step of the Geneva accord, Araqchi said it would possibly happen before the end of January, noting that the main negotiations on the final step are set to begin afterwards.

“After the onset of that agreement (in late January), we will start the final talks on the Geneva deal in a span of two, three weeks, which constitute the main negotiations.”

He also noted that the fresh round of talks would naturally be held at a higher level, possibly between Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, who oversees diplomacy with Iran on behalf of the six nations.

Meanwhile, the US administration said progress has been made in the latest round of expert-level talks in Geneva.

“We've made progress in our discussions, and the teams have taken a few outstanding points back to capitals,” US State Department deputy spokeswoman Marie Harf said on Tuesday.

“The two sides expect to finalize the implementation plan soon,” she added.

And in relevant comments, Michael Mann, spokesman for Catherine Ashton, said the experts would now report back to their home governments and contacts would continue "to finalize a common understanding of implementation."

He said the world powers are "fully committed to an early implementation" but did not elaborate on the timeframe.

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