Iran and the P5+1 will resume their negotiations to discuss ways to reach a final agreement over Tehran’s nuclear energy program in September, Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham says.
“September 1 has been set for the first round of talks during the extended period,” Afkham said at her weekly press briefing on Wednesday.
She added that the two sides would probably hold expert-level meetings before the new round of negotiations.
“Based on the agreement reached [between Iran and the P5+1], suspension of sanctions will remain in place and no new sanctions will be imposed on Iran,” she explained.
She emphasized that the extension of talks does not mean their failure, but it indicates the two sides’ political will to proceed with the path of negotiations.
Afkham’s comments came after Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Tuesday that the P5+1 group has no “everlasting chance” to reach a final nuclear agreement with Iran.
The right to enrich uranium, the Arak heavy water reactor (in central Iran) and sanctions against Tehran are among the bones of contention between Iran and the P5+1, the top diplomat added.
Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council – the US, France, Britain, Russia and China – plus Germany agreed on the extension of talks until November 24 with a view to achieving a permanent deal that would end the decade-old dispute over Iran’s nuclear energy program.
The two sides sealed an interim deal in Geneva, Switzerland, on November 23, 2013, for a six-month period. The deal, which took effect on January 20, expired on July 20.
Under the deal, dubbed the Geneva Joint Plan of Action, the six countries undertook to provide Iran with some sanctions relief in exchange for Tehran agreeing to limit certain aspects of its nuclear activities.
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