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Iranian official says replacing members of US negotiating team has no impact on strategies

Source: Islamic Republic News Agency

Tehran, Dec 14, IRNA - Official close to Iranian negotiating team said on Sunday that replacing members of the US negotiating team has no impact on the process but Iranian team will carefully check possible shift in attitudes.

He told IRNA on the condition of anonymity that the negotiating teams from the two parties focused on the strategies so that replacing the negotiators from either parties will not effect the general process of the negotiations.

He compared change of negotiators in the teams as change of players in a football game.

Players in a football game play in their posts but pass the ball to other players who are at a good position, the official added.

He said in the meantime that Iranian top negotiators watch the developments carefully.

Change of negotiators has not already changed the framework of talks but Iran will reciprocate if it sees a change in the framework, the official said.

He underscored that the Iranian negotiating team has plans to enjoy consultations from more experts for better performance.

A principal deputy coordinator for sanctions policy at the US State Department plans to leave the American negotiating team involved in talks with Iran.

Richard Nephew will leave the negotiating team to spend more time with his family, State Department deputy spokesperson Marie Harf told al-Monitor on last Wednesday.

'Our negotiating team has changed over time and will likely continue to do so given the grueling nature of it and the rhythm of people's lives and other work commitments,' she added.

Harf, however, said that the negotiating team will pursue its goals and follow the policies instructed by US President Barack Obama and US Secretary of State John Kerry.

'None of those changes have affected the policy or way forward - that continues at the direction of President Obama and Secretary Kerry, no matter who is on the team,' she added.

A number of other US officials, including Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Counter Threat Finance and Sanctions Peter Harrell, and Brooke Anderson, a senior advisor on the Iran nuclear negotiations to US Undersecretary of State Wendy Sherman and Kerry, are also said to have plans to leave the team.

In their last round of talks, Iran and its negotiating partners, the G5+1 countries - Russia, China, France, Britain, the US and Germany - wrapped up a week of intense closed-door nuclear negotiations in Vienna on November 24.

The talks aimed to tackle the remaining obstacles that exist in the way of reaching a final agreement.

At the end of the talks, the two sides decided to extend their discussions for seven months.

Iran's nuclear negotiating team will leave Tehran for Geneva on Monday.

The Iranian officials are to take part in the first round of talks to be held after extension of negotiation deadline between Iran and G5+1 for another seven months.

The Iranian delegation is headed by two deputies foreign minister Abbas Araqchi and Majid Takht-e Ravanchi.

During the talks, the Iranian negotiators will hold bilateral talks with members of delegations from US and other participating countries in the talks.

However, the focal point of the talks is meeting with the American delegation during which the two sides are to discuss all disputed issues.

Ealier, Araqchi told IRNA that the next round of talks between Iran and Group 5+1 will be held in Geneva, Switzerland, on December 17, 2014 at the level of deputies foreign ministers.

Araqchi, who is Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs, said that two days before December 17, preliminary bilateral talks will be held between Iran and Group 5+1.

Araqchi said all nuclear issues will be discussed in this round of talks.

The last round of Iran-5+1 talks was held in Vienna, Austria, from November 17-24 at the level of foreign ministers.

... Payvand News - 12/14/14 ... --

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