Source: Tehran Times
Iran and the U.S. started bilateral talks in Geneva on Thursday at deputy foreign ministerial level to narrow differences in achieving a final nuclear deal. The talks which continued on Friday are expected to run into Saturday. Simultaneously, Iran and the U.S. are holding talks at expert level in Geneva.
Iran's nuclear team is headed by Abbas Araqchi and Majid Takht-Ravanchi, deputy foreign ministers and top members of the Iranian nuclear negotiating team.
The U.S. delegation is led by Deputy Secretary of State William Joseph Burns and Under Secretary of State Wendy Sherman.
During the talks on Thursday, some points of differences such as the scope of Iran's uranium enrichment and duration of the comprehensive deal were discussed.
It was the second round of bilateral talks between Iran and the U.S. The first round of talks was held in August.
On September 1, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton met in Brussels and discussed the latest state of the nuclear talks.
Ashton leads the 5+1 group (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany) in nuclear talks with Iran.
Iran and the six major powers are scheduled to hold the next round of nuclear talks in New York on September 18 Western diplomats said Wednesday.
The two sides had said negotiations would resume ahead of the UN General Assembly meeting in New York. For the past six months, the talks have taken place in Vienna.
One of the Western diplomats said the first full session of formal negotiations between Iran and the 5+1 group will take place on September 19 with various preparatory meetings to be held the previous day, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Last year's General Assembly meeting proved a watershed in the nuclear talks, with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry sitting down with his Iranian counterpart and President Barack Obama holding a historic 15-minute phone call with his Iranian counterpart, Hassan Rouhani.
Iran to hold bilateral talks with Germany, France, Britain on Sept. 11
Iran also plans to hold bilateral talks with Germany, France and Britain in Vienna on September 11.
Prior to the talks with the U.S, Araqchi met in Paris with former French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault and the head of French delegation to the nuclear talks, Nicolas de Riviere.
In interviews with the French media, Araqchi expressed optimism over the possibility of achieving a comprehensive nuclear deal.
Majid Takht-Ravanchi also held talks with senior officials of the Czech Republic in Prague on Wednesday.
In his meeting with Prague's officials, he stated that a favorable result can be achieved before the November 24 deadline if the six major powers have goodwill and adopt constructive approach.
Iran and the six major powers failed to meet a self-imposed July 20 deadline to work out a comprehensive deal to resolve the dispute over Tehran's nuclear program and agreed to extend the talks until November 24.
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