Publishe Date: 4:18 PM - 12/22/2013 | Print

Iran, G5+1 Resume 4th Day, 5th Round of Experts Talks in Geneva

Politics - Iran and the six world powers (the US, Russia, France, China, Britain and Germany) started their fourth day of expert-level talks in Geneva, Switzerland, on Sunday in a bid to devise mechanisms to implement the interim nuclear deal struck last month.

Officials from Iran and the Group 5+1 (the five permanent UN Security Council members plus Germany) started their fifth round of talks in the Swiss city few minutes ago after four rather lengthy meetings on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

The fourth round of talks which started on Saturday afternoon lasted until 3:00 local time on Sunday morning.

The negotiations were scheduled to start at 9:00 am local time today, but they were delayed due to internal meetings among the G5+1 members.

Hamid Baeidinejad, the director general for political and international affairs at Iran’s Foreign Ministry, leads the Iranian delegation, which includes experts from nuclear, banking, oil and transportation sectors.

Stephen Clement, who is an aide to the European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, heads the opposite negotiating team.

Iran and the six world powers resumed their talks in Geneva on Thursday evening and had two more sessions on Friday and one on Saturday.

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.

US Secretary of State John Kerry tried to soothe Tehran’s anger over Washington’s fresh sanctions in a phone call to his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif Monday night.

On November 24, Iran and the Group 5+1 sealed the six-month Joint Plan of Action 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.

Speaking to reporters after the phone conversation between the two top diplomats, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marziyeh Afkham said, “The phone call was initiated by the US secretary of state.”

Afkham, who was speaking to reporters during a weekly press conference on Tuesday, told reporters that during the phone talk "he (Kerry) was informed of Iran’s dissatisfaction with the trend of the experts' plan and the details of the implementation of the Joint Plan of Action (the Geneva agreement)”.

Last 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.

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)”.

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