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New round of talks between Iran and P5+1 kicks off in Vienna

April 08, 2014, 12:11 UTC+3

The parties will do their best to develop a basis for the final agreement

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The Iranian delegation will be headed by Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammad Javad Zarif (photo)

The Iranian delegation will be headed by Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammad Javad Zarif (photo)


VIENNA, April 8. /ITAR-TASS/. The third round of negotiations between the policy directors of Iran and the six world powers (five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany) has started in the Austrian department of the United Nations Organization on Tuesday. The final objective of the negotiating process is to develop a comprehensive agreement on Iran’s nuclear program. Head of the Russian delegation, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergei Ryabkov stated on Monday that it was quite possible to reach an agreement before July 20, but the current round would only lay the basis for finalizing the text of the document.

Catherine Ashton, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, will be traditionally coordinating the efforts of P5+1 members. The Iranian delegation will be headed by Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammad Javad Zarif. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman will lead the delegation of the USA.

“There are no special expectations,” Sergei Ryabkov told journalists on Monday. “It’s reasonable to talk of expectations if everything is ready and the finishing touches are yet to be made, but we are hardly halfway through.”

According to Ryabkov, a number of issues that are at the initial stage of consideration remain. “However, the fact that experts working at their level have advanced in the understanding of which problems should be settled is a positive thing,” the deputy minister noted.

He added that all the colleagues, including the Iranian delegation and P5+1 participants, are committed to making efforts so that the round be marked “by the creation of the basis for further steps.” “Nobody’s expectations are higher than that,” the diplomat stressed.

Ryabkov also said he did not think that anything would be put on paper during the forthcoming round in Vienna. “Some aspects have not been considered at all yet,” the deputy minister said. “If it works out, it would be good. If not, it’s no tragedy.”

Some experts express concerns that the mood inside the P5+1 group might be spoiled due to external causes: differences regarding the situation in Ukraine. However, the Russian diplomat does not see any signs of it as yet. “I don’t think so, it would be incorrect,” Ryabkov said. He stressed that the progress in the negotiations on Iran’s nuclear program was beneficial for all parties. “We do this not to please the Americans, or Iranians; this fully meets the national interests of finding a politico-diplomatic solution of the problem,” he noted. “It would not be wise to turn it into a bargaining chip.”

As a result of long and complex consultations, a comprehensive agreement on the Iranian nuclear issue should be reached. This document should replace the interim agreement drafted in November 2013 in Geneva. This agreement has come into effect January 20 and is designed for six months. Thus, Iran and P5+1 have time until July 20 to make the final arrangements.

“It is possible to reach an agreement, to fit within the timeframe, but additional efforts are needed for that,” Ryabkov told ITAR-TASS. He said the schedule of talks was rather intensive. “We [political directors of the delegations] are meeting once a month,” the diplomat said, expecting that this pace would be maintained.

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