U.S. lauds "constructive" nuclear talks with Iran
U.S. State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf has described as “constructive and useful” the nuclear negotiations between Iran and six world powers in the Austrian capital, Vienna.
Harf said on Wednesday that the Vienna talks between Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany are making progress. The negotiations are part of efforts to reach a final and permanent agreement on Tehran’s nuclear energy program.
Negotiators discussed “both process and substance,” she said.
The talks, which commenced on Tuesday, were presided over by Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton. Zarif and Ashton are due to hold a press conference later on Thursday.
On Wednesday, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs Abbas Araqchi said that Tehran and the six countries had finalized a framework for comprehensive talks to reach a final agreement.
The Iranian nuclear negotiator said that the talks were held in a positive atmosphere.
He also said that Iran and its opposite negotiating team would hold a new round of talks from March 17 to 20 in Vienna.
The talks in Vienna mark the first round of high-level negotiations held between Tehran and the six world powers after they clinched a landmark interim deal in the Swiss city of Geneva on November 24, 2013.
Under the deal, dubbed the Geneva Joint Plan of Action, the six countries undertook to provide Iran with some sanctions relief in exchange for Iran agreeing to limit certain aspects of its nuclear activities during a six-month period. It was also agreed that no nuclear-related sanctions will be imposed on Iran within the same timeframe. The agreement took effect on January 20.