Nuclear Talks Resume Dec. 17

Nuclear Talks  Resume Dec. 17
Nuclear Talks  Resume Dec. 17

Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi announced on Thursday that the next round of nuclear talks between Iran and the six major powers will resume on December 17.

Araqchi said the talks will be held in Geneva, Switzerland at the level of deputy foreign ministers.  

The senior nuclear negotiator also said the Iranian and US negotiating teams will hold talks in Geneva on December 15-16 to discuss Tehran's nuclear program, IRNA reported.

According to a statement by the US State Department, Acting Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman will lead the US delegation. The statement said, "These bilateral consultations will take place in the context of the P5+1 nuclear negotiations with Iran, led by EU Special Advisor Cathy Ashton."

"Deputy Secretary General for the EU's External Action Service Helga Schmid will join for part of the bilateral meetings," it added.

The talks are the first since Iran and the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany) failed to meet a second self-imposed deadline last month to reach a long-term settlement to the long-running dispute over Tehran’s nuclear work and decided to extend their talks on a comprehensive deal for seven more months until June 30 of next year.

The two sides had reached a preliminary nuclear agreement in Geneva in November 2013, under which Iran agreed to temporarily scale down parts of its nuclear activities in exchange for limited sanctions relief.

Ahead of the upcoming nuclear talks, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told RIA Novosti on Friday that the final nuclear agreement with Iran could be signed within three or four months.

"We share the opinion that this timeframe is realistic," he said, adding that Moscow would push for intense talks between the P5+1 group of negotiators and Iran and oppose any new extensions of the talks.

"In our opinion, new extensions are simply impossible. This practice is too risky," the negotiator said.