Iran, Sextet Extend Nuclear Talks for 4 Months

Iran, Sextet Extend Nuclear Talks for 4 Months

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iran and the group of six world powers (Russia, China, the US, Britain, France and Germany) agreed to keep holding talks on Tehran’s nuclear program for four more months after missing a July 20 deadline to reach a comprehensive agreement.

After nearly three weeks of intensive diplomatic negotiations in the Austrian capital of Vienna that began on July 2, the two sides decided to extend the nuclear talks until November 24 in the hope of clinching a final deal to resolve the dacade-long standoff on Iran’s nuclear energy program.

The announcement came in the early hours of Saturday with a joint statement issued by Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and European Union Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton, who coordinates diplomacy with Tehran on behalf of the six powers.

Iran and the sextet on November 24, 2013, signed an interim nuclear deal in the Swiss city of Geneva. The breakthrough agreement (the Joint Plan of Action), which came into effect on January 20, had given the parties six months to draw up a comprehensive nuclear deal.

During the four-month extension of the talks, which begins on July 21, Iran will have access to $2.8 billion of its frozen cash in exchange for a plan to convert its stockpile of 20-percent enriched uranium to fuel for a research reactor in Tehran.

What follows is the full text of the joint statement announced by Zarif and Ashton at a press conference in Vienna:

We have decided together with the foreign ministers of the EU 3+3 to continue implementation of the measures of the Joint Plan of Action until November 24, 2014 according to timetable. Iran and EU 3+3 once again emphasize to continue implementation of all their commitments in the Joint Plan of Action in an effective and timely manner.

We will hold our meetings in different formats in the coming weeks in order to reach an agreement on a joint plan of action in a decisive manner.

We increased our efforts, including through active presence of foreign ministers and their deputies, to closely become familiar with the progress in talks.

Although tangible advances have been made in some issues and we have acted jointly to write the text of joint plan of action, but we are still having meaningful differences on fundamental issues which needs further time and more efforts.

We held different sessions in different forms and in a constructive atmosphere to reach a final and comprehensive agreement which would guarantee that Iranˈs nuclear program will always be peaceful. We and the political directors of EU3+3 (Britain, France, Germany, the US, Russia and China) intensively tried to reach a joint plan of action by making use of political acceleration resulting from approval and easy implementation of the joint plan of action back in November 24, 2013.

We are thankful to the Austrian government and the UN for their extraordinary support for hosting these negotiations.


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