Iran Describes Latest Talks as 'Very Useful'

Iran's deputy foreign minister says he had "very useful and helpful" negotiations with major powers. Talks to continue next month.

Ben Ariel,

Nuclear talks in Geneva (archive)
Nuclear talks in Geneva (archive)
Reuters

Iran's deputy foreign minister, Abbas Araqchi, said on Wednesday he had "very useful and helpful" nuclear negotiations with major powers in Geneva, according to Reuters.

Araqchi, speaking to reporters at the end of all-day closed-door talks, said there was an agreement to continue nuclear talks "next month" at a venue to be decided.

"We had very intense negotiations. It was very useful and helpful," Araqchi said, without giving details.

The United States’ negotiating team, led by Acting Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman, left the meeting without making any comment.

A EU spokeswoman said no statement would be issued on Wednesday following the talks, attended by EU political director Helga Schmid.

Earlier on Wednesday, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said nuclear talks with major powers were being conducted in a good atmosphere, "good steps" had been taken and more would follow.

U.S. and Iranian negotiators held a two-day meeting on Monday and Tuesday, paving the way for wider talks on how to end the 12-year dispute over Tehran's nuclear program.

Despite making progress, the two sides failed to clinch a definitive deal by a November deadline and agreed to extend the talks for another seven months.

A final agreement is aimed at ensuring Tehran will never develop nuclear weapons under the guise of its civilian activities, and would lift international sanctions that have crippled Iran's economy.

Iran denies that it is seeking the bomb and insists its nuclear activities are for solely peaceful purposes.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani recently hailed the extension of talks as a victory for his country, saying, "Our nation has emerged victorious and will be victorious. We have neither compromised over Iran’s nuclear rights, nor will ever do so, and there is no doubt that the Iranian nuclear technology will remain functioning."

Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, also welcomed the extended nuclear talks with world powers, saying that if talks ultimately fail, "the sky won't fall to the ground".




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