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Switzerland hosts new round of Iran nuclear talks

March 05, 2015, 9:24 UTC+3 MONTREUX

The discussion will focus on the number of centrifuges Iran should be able to operate, the fate of the Arak heavy-water reactor in the southwest of Tehran and the time frame for lifting the sanctions

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© AP Photo/Mehr News Agency, Majid Asgaripour

MONTREUX, March 5. /TASS/. Political directors from the P5+1 group of world powers — Britain, France, China, Russia, and the United States plus Germany — are due to hold a new round of talks with Iran on its nuclear program in Montreux, Switzerland, on Thursday.

The discussion will focus on the number of centrifuges Iran should be able to operate as well as the fate of the Arak heavy-water reactor, located to the southwest of Tehran, and the time frame for lifting the Western sanctions.

The previous round of talks between Iran and the world’s six major powers was held in Geneva on February 23-24, while the next round of negotiations is scheduled on March 15-20.

The sides have agreed that the principal decision on the sensitive nuclear dossier should be reached by late March 2015 and by the end of June the key agreements are to be confirmed in a final deal.

In late February, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said that "confidence is growing that an agreement on Iran’s nuclear dossier will be reached by the fixed deadline of June 30."

The diplomat said it was important to restore the confidence in "a reliable and verified way" that Iran’s nuclear program is of an absolutely peaceful character. This should be done without backtracking on "basic regimes in the sphere of non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction."

"It is most important that in the framework of this process we get a boost in developing our bilateral ties with Iran and the opportunities to expand our cooperation with the country in the nuclear energy sphere and other elements of the negotiation process which have a direct relation to us," Ryabkov said.

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said in a televised interview on Wednesday that Tehran is close to an agreement on the nuclear program although some issues related to it still need to be negotiated.

"Once we reach that understanding, once this hysteria is out, once this fear mongering is out, then we can have a deal, and a deal that is not going to hurt anybody," he told NBC News.

"We don't want to build nuclear weapons, we don't believe nuclear weapons bring security to anybody, certainly not to us," Zarif said.

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