Iran, US, EU Hold Nuclear Talks in Vienna
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Negotiators representing Iran, the US and the European Union proceeded on Wednesday with the intensive negotiations on Tehran’s nuclear energy program in the Austrian capital of Vienna.
Marathon talks between Iran and the sextet of world powers (Russia, China, the US, Britain, France and Germany) entered the 15th day with the trilateral meeting at Vienna's Palais Coburg hotel.
Iranian deputies foreign minister, Abbas Araqchi and Majid Takht Ravanchi, represented the Islamic Republic, while the US team was led by US Under Secretary of State Wendy Sherman.
And the European Union, which coordinates diplomacy with Iran on behalf of the six powers, sent EU Deputy Foreign Policy Chief Helga Schmid and Stephen Clement -an aide to outgoing EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton- to the meeting.
Since July 2, delegates from Iran and the Group 5+1 (also known as the P5+1 or E3+3) have launched this new round of high-profile talks in Vienna in a bid to hammer out a comprehensive deal on Tehran’s nuclear case before a self-imposed July 20 deadline.
Iran and the sextet on November 24, 2013, clinched an interim nuclear deal in the Swiss city of Geneva.
The breakthrough agreement (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.
Meantime, media reports said there is a possibility that the talks on a comprehensive deal may be extended for as long as six months.
The interim agreement between Iran and the six powers includes a provision for lengthening talks on a permanent agreement as far out as next January if all sides agree. But even an extension would have to be negotiated.
On Tuesday, Iran’s foreign minister and top negotiator, Mohammad Javad Zarif, said an extension of nuclear talks past a July 20 deadline was possible, saying, “I have observed the willingness on the part of the six powers that more time for nuclear talks might be useful.”