Publishe Date: 4:22 PM - 3/18/2014 | Print

Zarif Hopes for Finding Comprehensive Solution to Differences with World Powers

Politics - Iranian top diplomat Mohammad Javad Zarif expressed the hope that Tehran and the world powers would be able to work out a comprehensive solution to their differences over Iran’s nuclear program.

“We will discuss enrichment, Arak reactor, sanctions and (Iran’s) peaceful nuclear cooperation in this round of negotiations,” Zarif told reporters upon arrival at Vienna airport on Tuesday before starting talks with representatives of the Group 5+1 (the US, Russia, China, Britain and France plus Germany).

“We hope that we will be ready for compiling a comprehensive solution by concluding the discussions in this round and other rounds of the negotiations,” he added.

Iran and the world powers, headed by Zarif and EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton, started a new round of talks in Vienna today.

The seven states had three days of experts talks in Vienna earlier this month.

The meeting was held on the sidelines of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board of Governors session in Vienna.

Experts of the seven nations discussed Iran's uranium enrichment, removal of sanctions and technical nuclear cooperation in their meeting.

IAEA Director General Yukio Amano in his recent report on Iran announced that Tehran is complying with its obligations under the deal it struck with the six world powers in Geneva last November.

In his new report, Amano said 20-percent uranium enrichment “is no longer taking place” by Iran as agreed in an agreement with the six world powers.

According to a deal which took effect on January 20, the six countries undertook to provide Iran with some sanctions relief in exchange for Iran agreeing to limit certain aspects of its nuclear activities during a six-month period.

Iran and the world power also agreed that no nuclear-related sanctions will be imposed on Iran during the same period.

The report also confirmed that no additional uranium enrichment centrifuges have been installed at Iran’s Natanz and Fordo nuclear facilities.

Iran has also provided the IAEA with an updated Design Information Questionnaire (DIQ) for its Heavy Water Reactor in Arak.

“The measures implemented by Iran and the further commitments it has undertaken represent a positive step forward,” the IAEA report said.

After the November 24 interim agreement between Iran and the sextet, Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Ali Akbar Salehi underlined that Iran's enrichment right has been clearly stipulated in the Geneva accord, although the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) had already granted the right to the country.

Following the November agreement, Iran and the Group 5+1 held several rounds of expert talks on how to enforce the deal before they could come into terms over the date for starting implementation of the agreement. Eventually on January 20, a confidential report by the IAEA said that Iran has halted its 20-percent enrichment activity under the Geneva deal. Hours later the US and the EU removed part of their sanctions against Tehran.

A month later in February, Iran and the G5+1 held a meeting in Vienna to work on a comprehensive deal and they agreed to hold a new round of talks in the same city on March 17-20.

Following the meeting, Zarif and Ashton, who presides over the delegations of the six world powers, voiced pleasure in their rapid agreement on the agenda and dates of their future meetings, and stressed that they had made good progress in this regard.

Zarif said that there would be six rounds of monthly talks between the seven countries by late June to pave the way for a comprehensive deal in July.

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