GENEVA, January 18. /TASS/. Representatives of the six world powers (five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany) and Iran continue on Sunday another round of negotiations on Iran’s nuclear programme - at the level of political directors.
The round will last for only one day. A plenary session will be followed by bilateral and multilateral meetings.
Bilateral consultations between the Iranian and the U.S. delegations continued for several days. On January 14, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif met with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. The talks continued for about seven hours. Next day, the consultations resumed at the level of political directors.
On January 15, Zarif met in Berlin with his German counterpart Frank-Walter Steinmeier. Later on, Zarif went to Brussels, where he met with the European Union’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini. A new meeting between Zarif and Kerry took place in Paris on January 16 and lasted for about an hour. The same day, Zarif met with French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius. The results of the meetings are expected to be presented at the current round of talks on Sunday, January 18.
American senators have proposed to impose new sanctions against Iran if no agreement is reached on the Iranian nuclear programme by June 30, 2015. The U.S. President Barack Obama also said that Washington would have to consider other ways if diplomacy fails to achieve the goal.
P5+1 is the five permanent members of the UN Security Council - the United States, Russia, China, the United Kingdom, and France plus Germany.
Iran says it needs nuclear power to generate electricity, but Western powers led by the United States claim Iran’s eventual aim is to create nuclear weapons.
A plan of joint actions designed for a year that underlay the current negotiating process was agreed by Iran and the six international negotiators in Geneva on November 24, 2013. It in particular envisioned that Iran will get rid of half of accumulated uranium enriched to 20% and will dilute the second half to the 5-percent mark.
Besides, Tehran was supposed to stop enrichment of uranium to more than 5%, and halt work on enrichment enterprises in Natanz, Fordow and at the heavy-water reactor site in Arak.
In turn, the P5+1 members pledged not to impose new restrictions on export of Iranian oil, new sanctions and lift restrictions on exports of oil products and precious metals, as well as unfreeze part of Tehran’s foreign assets.
Implementation of agreements designed for six months started January 20, and the sides decided to draft a final agreement over the period. Over the six months, Iran complied with its commitments in full and had the sanctions regime against it eased.
But the sides failed to agree the document by July 20, and decided to shift the end date to November 24 - the provisional action plan's deadline. Iran committed itself to convert all 20-percent enriched uranium left to nuclear fuel.
On its part, the six international negotiators agreed to continue their policy not to use previously agreed sanctions against Iran and grant Tehran access to $2.8 billion out of its assets arrested abroad. The funds were to be provided in several tranches.
The sides at the Iran nuclear talks failed to reach a final deal by November 24 as planned earlier and agreed to continue consultations within another seven months until late June.