Zarif, Kerry Meet to Speed Up P5+1 Talks

Zarif, Kerry Meet to Speed Up P5+1 Talks
Zarif, Kerry Meet to Speed Up P5+1 Talks

Top diplomats from Iran and the United States met on Wednesday in Geneva as part of efforts to speed up the talks between Tehran and the major powers on a long-term settlement to end the 12-year standoff over Tehran's nuclear program.  

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said his meeting with US Secretary of State John Kerry was "important" to see if progress could be made in narrowing gaps in the negotiating positions.       

Asked whether the session was key to setting the stage for the more detailed nuclear negotiations this week, Zarif told reporters minutes before his encounter with Kerry in Geneva, "I think it's important; I think it will show the readiness of the two parties to move forward and to speed up the process," Reuters reported.

In response to a question about chances of an agreement by July 1, Zarif said, "That's why we are here. We'll see."

"I think we would have a much safer, much more prudent world if we were to engage in serious dialogue, serious debate about our differences, and then we will find out that what binds us together is far greater than what divides us," he said.

Tehran and the six major powers (the United Stated, France, Britain, Russia, China and Germany) last November failed for a second time to meet a self-imposed deadline to reach a comprehensive nuclear deal and decided to extend the negotiations until June 30.