Geneva: Iran and six world powers meet on nuclear deal
Thursday marked the beginning of expert-level talks in Geneva by Iran and six world powers. Their intention is to work out how to put into practice a deal supporting Tehran to curb its nuclear program in return for some relief sanctions.
Discussions were halted by Tehran officials last month after the US blacklisted 19 Iranian companies and individuals as reported by Reuters.
Despite the break, diplomats claimed that much progress had been achieved in the four-day meeting on December 9-12 in Vienna. They also expressed hope they could finish up the discussions at meetings in Geneva on Thursday and Friday.
That could mean the seven countries - the United States, Russia, China, France, Britain, Germany and Iran - would be ready to make agreements on a specific date when the accord would go into effect.
Specifically, they would choose a date for the western government to lift some economic sanctions if Iran dials down its most controversial nuclear work.
"We were at an advanced stage in Vienna," said a diplomat from one of the six world powers. "A lot of work has been done so we can go very fast."
While the diplomat shared feedback, they spoke on condition of anonymity in cautioning that some western diplomats were concerned Iran could be "more difficult" in the discussions because of Washington's expansion of sanctions this month.
The nuclear accord is designed to stop Iran's nuclear efforts for up to of six months in order for negotiations to take place on a final settlement of the disagreements which have lasted for over a decade.
Iran continues to press that its nuclear development is for peaceful purposes only and rejects western suspicions that its atomic work is aimed at acquiring nuclear weapons.