Zarif, Kerry Holding Nuclear Talks in Switzerland

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and US Secretary of State John Kerry began a meeting in the Swiss city of Lausanne on Monday for talks on Tehran's peaceful nuclear program.

Zarif, Kerry Holding Nuclear Talks in Switzerland

The meeting, attended by high-ranking diplomats and energy officials from the two sides, is part of a decisive round of diplomacy that began in the European country on Sunday.

Diplomats say Iran and the Group 5+1 (Russia, China, the US, Britain, France and Germany) are narrowing down the gaps to clinch a long-awaited nuclear deal.

Zarif and Kerry had been due to meet in Lausanne on Sunday, but a senior US State Department official said later that the meeting would be delayed until Monday due to extensive consultations between the Iranian and American teams.

Later on Monday, Foreign Minister Zarif will leave for the Belgian capital of Brussels to meet his counterparts from Britain, France and Germany, along with the European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini.

According to the EU, Mogherini will meet bilaterally with Zarif at 17:15 local time, ahead of the planned meeting with other ministers.

The fresh round of talks on Iran’s peaceful nuclear program is expected to run until March 20, before the start of the new Iranian year.

After failing to hammer out a lasting accord by a self-imposed November 24 deadline in 2014, the negotiating parties decided to extend the deadline for seven more months, until the end of June 2015.

The talks are aimed at reaching a comprehensive agreement to end more than a decade of impasse over Tehran’s peaceful nuclear program.

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