Iran-Sextet N. Talks Kick Off in Vienna
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - Austria’s capital city of Vienna hosts delegations representing Iran and the six major world powers for a fresh round of talks that commenced minutes ago, with the aim of reaching a comprehensive agreement on Tehran’s peaceful nuclear program.
The new round of negotiations between Iran and the G5+1 (the US, Russia, China, Britain, France as well as Germany) are being held roughly three months after the two sides signed an interim six-month deal on Tehran’s nuclear program in the Swiss city of Geneva on November 24, 2013.
The interim deal (the Joint Plan of Action), which has come into effect since January 20, stipulates that over the course of six months, Iran and the six countries will draw up a comprehensive nuclear deal which will lead to a lifting of the whole sanctions on Iran.
And now the new round of talks, which are expected to be tight, technical and complicated, are aimed at finding an ultimate, comprehensive deal on Iran’s nuclear program.
The Vienna negotiations kicked off officially at 11 a.m. local time (1330 Tehran time), with a symbolic bilateral meeting between Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who leads the team of Iranian negotiators, and the European Union foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, who represents the six world powers.
The European Union liaises with Iran on behalf of six world powers in diplomatic efforts related to Tehran's nuclear case.
The team of Iranian negotiators includes Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs Seyed Abbas Araqchi, Deputy Foreign Minister for European and American Affairs Majid Takht Ravanchi, Foreign Ministry's Director General for the Political and International Affairs Hamid Baeidinejad, Foreign Minister's Legal Adviser Davoud Mohammadnia, and Mohammad Amiri, director general for the safeguards affairs at the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI).
A number of representatives from the AEOI also accompany the Iranian foreign minister in the talks, now in progress.
On the other side, Ashton is accompanied with one of her aides, Stephen Clement, and Helga Maria Schmid, EU's deputy secretary general for political affairs.
After the symbolic bilateral meeting between Zarif and Ashton, Araqchi and Schmid have started to handle the talks.