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Wed October 16, 2013
Iran: More Nuclear Talks 'In A Few Weeks'
Originally published on Wed October 16, 2013 3:10 pm
Iran is planning a fresh round of talks on its nuclear program "in a few weeks" after a generally positive first round of multiparty meetings in Geneva aimed at defusing tensions with the West.
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, commenting on his Facebook page, says the next meeting with the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany would also be held in Geneva.
Reuters, quoting a Western diplomat, says the talks are set to resume in Geneva for two days beginning Nov. 7.
On Tuesday, Tehran presented a plan to the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany to end the confrontation over its nuclear program, which it has always insisted is for peaceful purposes.
No details of that plan were released, but as The Associated Press reports:
"[Comments] from Western officials meeting with Iranian negotiators indicated interest in the proposal, described by Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi as designed to allow Iran to leave the 'dark' path of international isolation.
"Previous rounds have often been fitful and sporadic, reflecting the deadlock between the two sides. Zarif's Facebook comments that negotiations will resume 'in a few weeks' strengthened expectations that some progress was being made. He said the follow-up will also be held in Geneva, the venue for the ongoing talks."
The election of moderate President Hasan Rouhani four months ago has opened the door to negotiations over Iran's nuclear program, which many Western analysts believe is aimed at acquiring a bomb.
Update At 12:08 p.m. ET. Zarif: 'Fruitful' Discussions
Speaking in Geneva, Zarif says Iran held "fruitful" nuclear discussions and hopes for a "new phase" in relations with the West, Reuters reports. He says he hopes world powers will be prepared to try to solve the impasse.