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Iran, World Powers Set for New Round of Nuclear Talks
Local Editor

Iran and major world powers are to revive nuclear talks on Tusday, with eyes on what the Islamic Republic’s top diplomat would put on the table.

Two days of closed-door negotiations were due to begin at 9:30 am (0730 GMT) at the United Nations' European base in the Swiss city of Geneva.

On the eve of the meeting both sides downplayed chances of any major advance despite hopes raised by Tehran.

Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif -- set to present Iran's positions to the P5+1 group of the United States, BritainIranian FM Zarif, France, China and Russia plus Germany -- said Monday that its three-step proposal could be implemented "within a year."

While not going into details, he said the initial step could be achieved "within a month, or two, or even less."

But he admitted to difficulties in the negotiations, on hold since a round in April in the Kazakh city of Almaty where Iran refused to curb some sensitive enrichment activities in exchange for a moderate relief of sanctions.
"The nuclear issue cannot be resolved in one session, as mistrust has been accumulated over years," he said.

"I am not pessimistic about the talks, but we need to see the good intentions and political will of the other side in action," he said.

For her part, European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, who chairs the talks, said Monday she had come "with cautious optimism but a real sense of determination," with the goal to go into details of proposals and explore possibilities.

On the other hand, an ahead of the meeting with Iran's team -- expected to be led for the bulk of the talks by deputy foreign minister Abbas Araqchi -- a senior US administration official also said detail would be the key.
"We are quite ready to move. But it depends what they put on the table," the official told reporters.

"We are hopeful, but that has to be tested with concrete, verifiable actions," the official said.
"In the past, Iran has taken the negotiated time and just kept moving forward with its nuclear program. We cannot allow that to be the case."

Source: AFP

15-10-2013 - 08:40 Last updated 15-10-2013 - 08:40 | 1090 View
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