Iran Nuclear Talks to Resume May 12

May 6, 2015  

Negotiations aiming at reaching a final agreement on Iran’s nuclear program will resume on May 12 in Vienna, the European Union and Tehran said Tuesday, according to the AFP news agency.

EU negotiator Helga Schmid and her Iranian counterparts Abbas Araqchi and Majid Takht Ravanchi “will resume their work on 12 May in Vienna,” the EU diplomatic service said in a statement.

The political leaders of the other world powers involved in the negotiations will join the talks on May 15, the statement said.

Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi, speaking on state television in Tehran, confirmed the plans.

“We will resume negotiations next Tuesday up to Friday when the G5+1 (global powers) will join us and we will arrive at some conclusions,” said Araqchi, who is part of an Iranian team currently taking part in expert-level talks in New York, on the margins of a UN disarmament summit.

Iran and six world powers are trying to turn a framework accord reached in Switzerland on April 2 into a full agreement by June 30.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif in New York on Monday hoping to push forward the tough nuclear negotiations as they reach the final phase, AFP noted.

Lower-level negotiations resumed last week in Vienna after the April 2 breakthrough in Lausanne, but little has trickled out about the discussions.

Under the agreed parameters, Iran, which denies seeking the atomic bomb, is set to scale down its nuclear program for 10 to 15 years or more, and allow closer UN inspections.

The exact details of how this will work, in particular the scale and timeframe under which the powers will lift painful sanctions slapped on the Islamic Republic, still need to be nailed down.

Tensions arose after the preliminary framework was reached, as Iran recently accused the United States of “fraud” and “psychological warfare” in publishing a fact sheet announcing what the U.S. claims was agreed on in the framework deal and which an Iranian official called a false translation.

Iran’s Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who will have the final say on any deal, plunged the accord into doubt recently when he suggested that “nothing is binding”, while President Hassan Rouhani demanded that sanctions be immediately lifted when any deal is signed.

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