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EU, Iran deputy foreign-policy chiefs in Geneva to discuss Iran's nuclear program

January 09, 2014, 5:44 UTC+3 GENEVA
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GENEVA, January 09, /ITAR-TASS/. The deputy foreign-policy chiefs of the European Union (EU) and Iran meet here to discuss how soon the the sides will be able to start implementing the accords reached between the IRI and the Sextet (five Permanent Members of the UN Security Council plus Germany) on Tehran's nuclear program.

The talks, which are expected to continue till Friday, will involve Helga Schmidt, EU Deputy High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, and Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi.

In the run-up to the meeting, IRI Foreign Minister Javad Zarif pointed out the progress made at preparatory consultations in Genev and in Vienna at experts' level in December last year. "The talks on nuclear issues are conducted in earnest and with the presence of strong political will. The delegations of the experts of Iran and the '5 plus 1' group spent tens of hours in intensive talks and achieved positive results," the FARS news agency quotes the Iranian Foreign Minister as saying.

It is not ruled out that Wendy Sherman, US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, will join Schmidt and Araghchi. Nothing on that score has been said sofar but Geneva is figuring in Sherman's working schedule.

Earlier, an Iranian Foreign Ministry official mentioned January 20 as the date when the sides may start implementing the so-called Joint Action Plan which was adopted as a result of days-long ministerial talks in Geneva on November 24, 2013.

According to the document, which is intended for half a year, Tehran, in particular, pledges not to enrich uranium above 5 percent, not to advance in its activities at the fuel enrichment installation in Natanz, at Fordo facility, or reactor in Arak, not to create new places for enrichment of uranium, and allow large-scale inspections of its facilities by experts of the International Atomic Energy Agency. Western countries, for their part, agreed partially to slacken economics anctions.

The accords reached were referred to as the first step to be followed by an all-embracing agreement. Such an agreement is called upon, on the one hand, fully to allay the world community's anxiety over a possible military orientation of Iran's nuclear program and, on the other hand, to remove economic sanctions which are a serious obstacle to the development of the IRI economy.

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