Publishe Date: 2:07 PM - 5/19/2014 | Print

Zarif, Ashton Likely to Meet before Next Iran-Powers Talks

Politics - An Iranian official announced that Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and EU foreign policy Chief Catherine Ashton are likely to meet before the next round of the talks between Iran and the six world powers to narrow down the two sides' differences, but he did not mention any date and venue for the meeting.

"No specific date and place is set for the meeting between Zarif and Ashton before the next round of talks scheduled for June 16-20,"Iranin Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs Seyed Abbas Araqchi said.

Some news websites had said that Zarif and Ashton will meet in Istanbul by the next two weeks.

On Sunday, Araqchi said that the next round of the negotiations between Iran and the Group 5+1 (the US, Russia, China, Britain and France plus Germany) will be held on June 16-20.

"The next round of Iran-G5+1 comprehensive negotiations (to compile a final deal) will be held in the Austrian capital of Vienna on June 16 to 20," Araqchi said.

Before the June 16 talks, another round of negotiations will also be held but its time and level has not yet been decided.

Russian sources had also earlier reported that the next round of talks will be held on the mentioned date at the level of political director-generals.

Iran and the Sextet of powers wrapped up their fourth round of talks in Vienna on Friday without achieving any results. Iranian sources blamed the US for the failure, adding that Washington has made excessive demands beyond the agreements made in the previous rounds of the talks.

On Friday, an official close to the Iranian nuclear negotiating team criticized the West for pursuing unreasonable and “excessive demands” during the talks.

Iran and the six countries have been discussing ways to iron out differences and start drafting a final deal that would end the West’s dispute with Iran over the country’s nuclear energy program.

In November 2013, the two sides signed an interim nuclear deal in the Swiss city of Geneva that came into force on January 20.

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