Iranian, EU Negotiators to Hold Bilateral Talks

TEHRAN (Tasnim) - Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs Seyed Abbas Araqchi will hold a bilateral meeting with European Union Deputy Foreign Policy Chief Helga Maria Schmid in Vienna this evening to continue a fresh round of Iran-Sextet nuclear talks.

Iranian, EU Negotiators to Hold Bilateral Talks

Austria’s capital city of Vienna hosts delegations representing Iran and the G5+1 (the US, Russia, China, Britain, France as well as Germany) for a fresh round of talks that commenced today, with the aim of reaching a comprehensive agreement on Tehran’s peaceful nuclear program.

The Vienna negotiations kicked off officially at 11 a.m. local time (1330 Tehran time), with a symbolic 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 two sides concluded the first session of the negotiations after almost one hour, while Araqchi and Schmid, representing Iran and the EU respectively, are planned to handle the talks later in the evening.

Meanwhile, Michael Mann, the EU foreign policy chief's spokesman, said in his Twitter page following the initial meeting that the “first plenary session of E3/EU+3 talks on Iranian nuclear program ends, discussions now (enter) into bilateral format.”

In the meantime, representatives of Iran and China have embarked on a bilateral meeting after the first plenary session ended in the Austrian capital.

The new round of negotiations between Iran and the six powers 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.

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