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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran's Araqchi calls start of N. talks 'good'

ISNA - Iranian Students' News Agency

Tue 18 Feb 2014 - 16:01

TEHRAN (ISNA)- Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs Abbas Araqchi said the ongoing nuclear talks between Iran and the 5 permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany 'started well'.

'The Tuesday morning session with G5+1 lasted for less than an hour. We have a long way to go but we have had a good start today,' he told ISNA.

Araqchi added that Iran has had bilateral talks with Russian and Chinese delegations ahead of negotiations with the 6 countries.

The Tuesday evening dialogues will be held at the level of political representatives of the G5+1 and without Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and the EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton.

Iran and six major world powers started a new round of talks in the Austrian capital of Vienna shortly in order to reach a long-term agreement on the Islamic Republic's nuclear energy program.

The talks between Iran and the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council - China, Russia, Britain, France and the United States - plus Germany is reportedly focusing on Iran's new and advanced centrifuges as well as the Arak heavy water reactor.

Iran's nuclear negotiating team, led by Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, arrived in Vienna on Monday.

On the same day, Zarif and Ashton, who represents the six world powers in the nuclear talks, held a meeting ahead of the new round of talks.

The negotiations are aimed at reaching a comprehensive accord on the Islamic Republic's nuclear energy program following a landmark interim deal reached by the two sides in the Swiss city of Geneva last November.

Zarif said on Monday that 'political resolve and goodwill' are essential for the talks between Iran and the six other countries to reach a final agreement. He said the negotiations in Vienna will be based on the Geneva "Joint Plan of Action," i.e. the interim nuclear deal signed earlier in Geneva.

Under the Geneva deal, which was implemented on January 20, the six countries undertook to provide Iran with some sanctions relief in exchange for Iran agreeing to limit certain aspects of its nuclear activities during a six-month period. It was also agreed that no nuclear-related sanctions will be imposed on Iran within the same timeframe.

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