“We have agreed that experts talks will be resumed soon,” Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Seyed Abbas Araqchi told FNA after meeting EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton in Brussels earlier today.
Araqchi and Ashton, who heads the Group 5+1 (the five permanent UN Security Council members plus Germany) delegations in the talks with Tehran, held a meeting in Brussels on Tuesday.
During the meeting, Araqchi and Ashton discussed the latest developments in the implementation of the contents of the Joint Plan of Action (the Geneva agreement) signed by Iran and the world powers as well as the US new sanctions against Tehran which observers believe has made the Geneva deal too fragile, if not dead.
Araqchi further told FNA that he had "strongly slammed the United States' recent move and stance" during the meeting with Ashton, "and Mrs. Ashton assured us that the G5+1 is resolved to implement the Geneva Agreement and is loyal to its undertakings".
"At the meeting with Mrs. Ashton we censured the unconstructive stances of the West, particularly the US officials, and stressed that certain greedy and provocative moves should be avoided if the talks are to continue," he added.
The US Treasury Department on Thursday added names of 19 individuals and Iranian and foreign companies to the sanction list.
On Monday, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in separate phone calls with US Secretary of State John Kerry and EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton voiced Tehran’s discontent with the recent sanctions imposed by the US against Iranian firms and individuals.
Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marziyeh Afkham said Tuesday that the US secretary of state had called Zarif on Monday night to discuss the recent developments with regard to the implementation of the Geneva Deal.
Zarif, for his part, underlined that Tehran is disgruntled at the US fresh sanctions against Iran.
The Iranian foreign minister also phoned Ashton on Monday to once again reiterate that the two sides should step towards confidence-building measures.
On November 24, Iran and the five permanent United Nations Security Council members sealed a six-month accord to lay the groundwork for the full resolution of the West’s decade-old dispute with Iran over its nuclear energy program.
In exchange for Tehran’s confidence-building bid to limit certain aspects of its nuclear activities, the Sextet of world powers agreed to lift some of the existing sanctions against Tehran and continue talks with the country to settle all problems between the two sides.
Iran and the six world powers had an expert meeting in Vienna, Austria, on December 9. The negotiations were scheduled to continue until December 13, but the Iranian negotiators cut short the talks and returned to Iran in protest at the US breach of the Geneva agreement by blacklisting a dozen companies and individuals for evading Washington’s sanctions.
On Sunday, Zarif deplored Washington's recent move, and said Tehran would show a well-assessed and goal-oriented reaction to any measure adopted by the world powers in violation of the deal.
“The Americans have taken improper measures in the last few days and we have given the appropriate response to them after considering all aspects of the issue,” Zarif said on Sunday.
He stressed that Tehran is seriously pursuing the Geneva negotiations with the G5+1, “and we will, of course, show proper, well-assessed, targeted and smart reaction to any improper and unconstructive measure (of the opposite side even if it doesn’t violate the Geneva agreement)”.
Meantime, the foreign minister said the nuclear negotiations are moving on a rough path with many ups and downs before the attainment of the final results, "which is not something unexpected as we had foreseen this since the very first day”.
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