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Iran and U.S. resume nuclear talks in Geneva

Source: Tehran Times

TEHRAN - Iran and the United States restarted intensive nuclear talks in Geneva on Friday with the aim of narrowing remaining gaps in the run up for a political agreement by the end of March and a final nuclear deal by July 1.

catoon by Ali Jahanshahi, Shargh daily

The talks were led by Abbas Araghchi, the Iranian deputy foreign minister for legal and international affairs, and Wendy Sherman, the No. 3 State Department official and lead American negotiator.

According to reports, the talks between Iranian and the U.S. negotiators will continue on Saturday.

The first round of talks on Friday lasted for about two-and-half hours, the IRNA news agency reported. 

Reportedly, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and his U.S. counterpart John Kerry are scheduled to join the talks on Sunday.

The new round of talks in Geneva followed some meetings between Zarif and Kerry in European cities including the German city of Munich.

EU says Iran, 5+1 to sit for talks on Feb 22 

In a statement issued on Friday, the European Union’s External Action Service (EEAS) also said representatives of Iran, Britain, the United States, Russia, China, France, and Germany will hold talks in Geneva on Feb. 22 to seek a solution to Iran’s nuclear program.

“This meeting will be preceded by a bilateral meeting between the United States and Iran with the participation of EEAS Political Director Helga Schmid who will then chair the E3+3 Political Directors’ meeting on Sunday,” the statement said.

IAEA says Iran has stopped questionable nuclear centrifuge testing 

Iran has refrained from expanding tests of more efficient models of a machine used to refine uranium under a nuclear agreement with six world powers, a UN report shows, allaying concerns it might be violating the accord, Reuters reported on Friday.

A UN nuclear agency report in November said Iran had been feeding one of several new models under development, the so-called IR-5 centrifuge, with uranium gas, prompting a debate among analysts on whether this may have been a violation.

A confidential document by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), distributed among its member states on Thursday and obtained by Reuters, showed the IR-5 had been disconnected.

“The disconnection reflects Iran addressing concerns about its enrichment [of uranium],” said the Washington-based Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS).

“The disconnection provides additional confidence that Iran is abiding by its commitments under the Joint Plan of Action,” it said, referring to the 2013 agreement. 

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