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Iran and Sextet will seek to exclude the infuence of external political factors

March 19, 2014, 7:05 UTC+3 VIENNA
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VIENNA, March 19, /ITAR-TASS/. The political directors of Sextet (five Permanent Members of the UN Security Council and Germany) and Iran will carry on the talks on Tehran's nuclear programme here on Wednesday.

Considering the well-adjusted dialogue in the already customary format, readiness to exclude the influence of external "irritants" on the process of search for compromises on the "nuclear dossier" will be a determining factor for making progress in the talks.

Three large segments of issue out of nine ones, designated a month earlier, are on the agenda. These are matters concerning internrational cooperation in the atom-for-peace sphere, the operation of the research reactor at Arak, as well as the parameters of limitation on a future enrichment programme of Iran. This round of talks at political level is expected to result in fixing formulations which will be included in a final document.

It is noteworthy that a second Vienna round of talks was already held against the background of the no-easy political situation in Ukraine. Thus, a month ago analysts discussed whether the situation would affect relationships inside the Sextet. However, the fact that in February the sides succeeded in fixing an exhaustive range of themes that will be used as the basis of a future comprehensive agreement and in determining a time-table of contacts showed that the partners for Sextet managed to separate themselves from external circumstances not connected with Iran's nuclear programme.

The same is the case this time: the application of sanctions on the part of the United States and the European Union against Russia over the situation in Crimea could complicate relations inside the Sextet. The actons taken by European diplomacy chief Catherine Ashton during her recent visit toTehran, where she met with members of opposition groups without notifying the Iranian side, also added fuel to the flame. This was the reason for the cancellation of Ashton's working dinner, which was planned for March 17 in Vienna, with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif.

And despite the statements by the USA and Russia about readiness to work in a normal mode and the remarks by Ashton's press secretary Michael Mann that the porblem that arose during Ashton's visit to Tehran was a minor misunderstanding, the effectiveness of this round was questioned by diplomats.

However, positive appraisals by both the Iranian and Western diplomats indicate that the circumstances have not sown discord among the negotiators this time either.

Tuesday's talks were productive and useful, Mann said on Tuesday night, declining to reveal details. Representatives of delegations also declined further official comments on the plea of accord reached by the political directors.

An Itar-Tass diplomatic source, who is familiar with the consultations, related that there had been no serious frictions at the talks so far. "And the level of trust is already very high. In point of fact, there have been no setbacks in the previous period," he said. The source pointed out, "The Sextet and Iran proceed from the assumption that to achieve a comprehensive agreement on Iran's nuclear programme by July 20 is realististic. The prospect for fixing the document looks optimistic enough due to the fact that positive attitude persists," the diplomat maintains.

The interim agreement on a settlement of matters concerning the nuclear programme, the agreement that was signed by the sides in Geneva in November last year, presupposes tha Tehran will assume a number of obligations, limiting its activity in the atomic field. Those obligations were set out in detail in the Joint Action Plan which entered into force on January 20 and is intended for six months. By July 20, the Plan must be replace by a comprehensive agreement which would finally settle all aspects of the problem.

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