Speaking to reporters after holding the last round of talks with EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherin Ashton in Vienna on Thursday, Zarif told reporters that the talks were "very serious and more positive than expected," adding that the two sides had consensus that only Iran's nuclear issue – and not its scientific and military capabilities – were on the agenda during these negotiations.
"We agreed that no one 'surprises' the other side with new claims," Zarif said.
The interim agreement gave the sides one year to finalize a comprehensive deal, Zarif said, but added that they were "trying to wrap up that in six months."
Zarif also said that Ashton would make an official visit to Iran before the next round of talks.
Ashton also seemed satisfied with the results of the three-day talks between Iran and the world powers in Vienna, and described them as “productive and a good start”.
"We have had three very productive days during which we have identified all of the issues we need to address in reaching a comprehensive and final agreement," Ashton told reporters in a brief press conference with Zarif. "There is a lot to do. It won't be easy but we have made a good start."
"In addition to our political discussions, we have started the technical work," she said. "And we have set a timetable of meetings initially over the next four months with a framework to continue our deliberations."Iran and the G5+1 ended their third and last day of talks headed by Zarif and Ashton on Thursday.
The two sides agreed to hold a new round of talks in Vienna on March 17-20.
Zarif ‘s talks with Ashton were focused on finding a lasting solution to the nuclear standoff between the two sides after hectic diplomatic efforts in Geneva in November resulted in an interim agreement.
On November 24, Iran and the world powers, including the US, sealed a 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
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