Publishe Date: 4:18 PM - 1/4/2014 | Print

Deputy FM: Iran, G5+1 to Settle Remaining Issues in Upcoming Meetings

Politics - Tehran and the Group 5+1 (the US, Russia, China, Britain and France plus Germany) will try to settle the remaining issues and differences in their next meetings in coming weeks, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister and senior negotiator Seyed Abbas Araqchi announced.

“The experts of the two sides have failed to reach a conclusion over one or two items and there are still some differences that we try to resolve in future contacts,” Araqchi told reporters in Tehran on Friday night.

Asked if the declared date of January 20 is the exact time for the implementation of the Geneva agreement sealed by the two sides on November 24, he said, “There is such a date but since the mechanisms for the implementation of the deal have not yet been completed and there still remain some items, this date cannot be declared as the difinite time of the meeting.”

Asked about the date of his upcoming meeting with EU's deputy foreign policy chief Helga Schmidt, Araqchi said no date has yet been fixed for the meeting.

Yet, other foreign ministry officials in Tehran announced on Friday night that the meeting would take place in the next two weeks.

Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister and senior negotiator in talks with the world powers Majid Takht Ravanchi said the meeting between Araqchi and Schmidt would be held in a European city in the next two weeks.

Takht Ravanchi further said the timeline for the implementation of the November nuclear deal between Iran and the six world powers would be set after an upcoming meeting between senior Iranian and EU negotiators.

“The exact date for the implementation of the Geneva agreement will be after an upcoming meeting between EU Deputy Foreign Policy Chief Helga Schmidt and Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Seyed Abbas Araqchi,” he said.

Takht Ravanchi pointed to the progress in the Iran-Group 5+1 talks, and said, “Iran’s technical nuclear talks with the Sextet is almost complete and there remain a couple of issues which need to be decided by the two sides’ politicians.”

Takht Ravanchi underlined that these remaining technical matters would be resolved during the upcoming bilateral talks between Araqchi and Schmidt.

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.

Iran and the six world powers ended a third round of expert-level talks in Geneva, Switzerland, on Tuesday in a bid to devise mechanisms to implement the interim nuclear deal struck in November.

Hamid Baeidinejad, the director general for political and international affairs at Iran’s Foreign Ministry, led the Iranian delegation which includes experts from nuclear, banking, oil and transportation sectors. Stephen Clement, who is an aide to EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton, headed experts team of the six world powers.

During a phone conversation on December 22, Iran's Foreign Minister and top negotiator Mohammad Javad Zarif and EU's Ashton, who heads the world powers’ delegations in the talks with Tehran, decided to continue the negotiations between their experts after Christmas.

In December, Iran and the six world powers held four days of talks in Geneva. The first experts meeting was held in Vienna, Austria, on December 9.

The Vienna negotiations among experts 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 Zarif in December.

The expert meetings are held to devise mechanisms for implementing the Geneva deal.

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