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VIENNA, October 16. /TASS/. The one-day round of consultations between Iran and the six world powers (five permanent UN Security Council members and Germany) began in Vienna on Thursday with a meeting of the Russian and Iranian delegations.
A diplomatic source in the Russian delegation told TASS that Russia is interested in the soonest start of a new round of nuclear negotiations between members of P5+1 and Iran.
“The sooner this happens, the better for us, because the time is running out for settling the disputable issues and meeting the November 24 deadline,” he said.
Outgoing EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton expects to reach an agreement on the Iranian nuclear program by November 24, spokesman Michael Mann said on Thursday.
A Western delegation member said “the work will be in various formats on Thursday — a number of bilateral meetings, then a coordination meeting of the ‘six’ is planned, as well as a plenary meeting that will be attended also be representatives of the Iranian delegation.”
Participants of the talks between Iran and the P5+1 do not think it is expedient to prolong the talks, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told the national television.
“We’ve got some 40 days left until the deadline, and none of the negotiators believes it is expedient to extend the talks,” Zarif said.
“We share this viewpoint and think this should not be even thought about,” he said.
Iran’s negotiators and the six world powers have been working on the final agreement on the Iranian nuclear program for nearly a year. They plan to complete the work by November 24 — when the effect of the interim Geneva agreements, reached in November 2013, expires. Over this period they have held seven full-format rounds of negotiations two of which also involved the foreign ministers of a number of the states participating in the talks.
However, a month before the deadline the negotiators are not certain that the agreement will be worked out on time, although the possible extension of the consultations’ period is not officially discussed. The main disputable issues at the negotiations today are the parameters of the Iranian nuclear program and the schedule of lifting sanctions on Tehran.
The next meeting of the foreign policy chiefs of the EU, Iran and the United States — Catherine Ashton, Javad Zarif and John Kerry — on the Iranian nuclear programme may be held in 3-4 weeks, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said on Thursday.
It would be right to hold the meeting in 1-2 weeks, and the (trilateral) ministerial meeting — in 3-4 weeks, Zarif told Iranian media at a briefing.
He also said the venue for the meeting was not selected yet.
The EU, Iranian and US foreign policy chiefs held a meeting in Vienna on Wednesday that continued for nearly eight hours. Ashton and Zarif on Thursday will inform about its results the political directors of the six world powers (five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany).