Negotiator: Date for Implementing Geneva Deal Agreed, but Not Finalized

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iranian deputy foreign minister said Tehran and the six world powers have decided on a specific date to begin carrying out a nuclear deal they signed onto in November, but at the same time noted that the date will be announced after final agreement by the negotiating parties.

Negotiator: Date for Implementing Geneva Deal Agreed, but Not Finalized

Seyed Abbas Araqchi, Iran’s deputy foreign minister for legal and international affairs and one of the country’s top negotiators told the Tasnim News Agency on Saturday that Iran and the Group 5+1 (the US, Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany) have set an agreed date to put the Geneva nuclear deal into practice.

However, he noted, the announcement of the agreed date requires a final agreement by the governments of the seven countries on the solutions to the remaining issues.

Araqchi and Deputy EU Foreign Policy Chief Helga Schmid concluded four rounds of talks in Geneva on Friday evening in order to resolve a couple of issues that had remained unresolved during earlier expert-level talks between Tehran and the Group 5+1.

“In the past two days’ talks held in Geneva, we have not reached an agreement so far, but we have devised solutions to the points of disagreement. These solutions should be studied in the capitals, so that we would make the final decision on them,” Araqchi said.

“If the solutions are agreed by the capitals, the issue will be announced in a call that I’ll give Lady Schmid. Thereafter, the date for the start of the first step of the Geneva deal, on whose date the two sides have made proposals, will be finalized and after that, the first step will be taken,” he explained.

The Iranian negotiator also noted that if the capitals fail to reach a final agreement, he will study the ways on how to carry on with the talks in a series of telephone conversations with Schmid.

After conclusion of the two-day talks in Geneva, a spokesman for Catherine Ashton, the European Union’s top foreign policy official, said in his Twitter account that “very good progress” was made "on all the pertinent issues related to implementation of Geneva Joint Plan of Action.”

Michael Mann also made clear that the results of the talks are “now under validation at political level in capitals.”

In Washington, however, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a news briefing that although the technical talks were making good progress, “reports that a deal had been finalized were inaccurate.”

"There have been a few outstanding issues, but at this point, the reports that everything has been finalized are incorrect," she said.

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 six-month duration specified in the agreement was meant to give negotiators time to reach a far more comprehensive accord.

The European Union liaises with Iran on behalf of six world powers in diplomatic efforts related to Tehran's peaceful nuclear program.

The seven countries need to agree when the nuclear accord goes into effect, meaning when the European Union and the US ease economic sanctions in return for Iranian nuclear concessions.

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