Publishe Date: 3:03 PM - 2/18/2014 | Print

Iran, G5+1 End First Round of Talks in Vienna

Politics - Representatives of Iran and the Group 5+1 (the US, Russia, China, Britain and France plus Germany) ended the first round of their comprehensive talks in Vienna on Tuesday over a lasting solution to the nuclear standoff between the two sides.

The first round this morning only took 40 minutes, and the two sides said talks would continue through bilateral meetings between the Iranian foreign minister and the EU foreign policy chief.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif arrived in Vienna at the head of a five-member team of senior negotiators on Monday.

Zarif is accompanied by Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs Seyed Abbas Araqchi, Deputy Foreign Minister for European and American Affairs Majid Takht Ravanchi, Foreign Ministry Director-General for Political and International Affairs Hamid Baeidinejad, Foreign Minister's Legal Adviser Davoud Mohammadnia and Director-General for Safeguards at the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Mohammad Amiri.

The Sextet will be headed by EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton and represented by US Undersecretary of State Wendy Sherman, British Foreign Office Political Director Simon Gass, French Foreign Ministry Political Director Jacques Audibert, German Foreign Ministry Advisor Hans-Dieter Lucas, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Rybakov and China’s representative Wang Min.

Baeidinejad had earlier stressed that the Iranian team is determined to defend the country's nuclear rights in the fresh round of the talks with the six world powers.

“The use of new and advanced centrifuges and Arak heavy water reactor are among the most important issues to be discussed for the final agreement,” Baeidinejad said on Sunday.

He said the negotiating sides would have a “difficult task” in the Vienna talks.

“The use of advanced and new centrifuges is one of the most important issues that should be studied and resolved for the comprehensive and long-term agreement because we will definitely not agree to Iran not being allowed to replace its existing centrifuges with different kinds of advanced and new ones,” the Iranian official added.

“The Arak heavy water reactor is also one of the most important and difficult issues which will be examined and discussed in the process of negotiations and we certainly seek to retain this reactor," he said.

Also on Sunday, Spokesman for the AEOI Behrouz Kamarlvandi said Iran is not negotiating with the Group 5+1 under force, adding that Tehran is participating in the talks to eventually see the world powers respect its nuclear rights in practice.

“Despite what the other side pretends (to be the case), Iran is not obliged to negotiate,” said Kamarlvandi whose organization, he said, will have two representatives in the upcoming negotiations between Tehran and the G5+1 for a comprehensive deal.

“Iran is holding negotiations from a powerful stance and makes use of all its economic, ideological and political sources of power in the negotiations,” he added.

Stressing that Iran is seeking a win-win solution to its nuclear dispute with the West in the negotiations with the world powers, Kamalvandi said Tehran sits to the negotiating table to see "the opposite side respect our rights in practical form and this does not just mean a recognition or mere acceptance of these rights".

On January 20, Iran and the six powers started the implementation of the historic nuclear deal which the two sides struck in the Swiss city of Geneva on November 24, 2013.

After endorsing the agreement with the world powers, Zarif underlined that the six world powers have recognized Iran’s enrichment program.

As part of the deal, in exchange for Iran’s confidence-building bid to limit certain aspects of its nuclear activities, the six world powers agreed to lift some of the existing sanctions against Tehran.
 

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