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Nuclear talks come bact to Zarif, Ashton plate in Istanbul

27 May 2014 [15:18] - TODAY.AZ
Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and EU foreign policy Chief Catherine Ashton continue talks on Iran's disputed nuclear program in Turkey's Istanbul for the second day.

During their two-day talks in Istanbul, the two officials are due to review the progress of nuclear negotiations between Iran and the P5+1, Iran's ISNA news agency reported on May 27.

Zarif and Ashton attended a working dinner banquet on May 26.

Iran's deputy foreign minister in Europe and America Affairs Majid Takht-e-Ravanchi, deputy foreign minister in Legal and International Affairs Abbas Araqchi and director general for Political Affairs and International Security Hamid Baeidinejad are accompanying Zarif in this round of negotiations.

Deputy chief of EU Foreign Policy Helga Schmidt and her assistant Stephen Clement are accompanying Catherine Ashton.

Alongside with the Ashton-Zarif meeting Baeidinejad and Clement are scheduled to hold talks on the technical issue on May 27, ISNA reported citing a member of Iran's nuclear delegation.

Iran and the P5+1 group (five permanent members of the UN Security Council - the U.S., China, Russia, France and the UK - plus Germany) wrapped up their latest round of high-level nuclear talks in the Austrian capital Vienna on May 16 without any result.

After the unsuccessful negotiations in Vienna the two sides decided to hold an extra-ordinary meeting before the June 16 talks.

Tehran and the six countries have been discussing ways to iron out differences and start drafting a final deal on Tehran's disputed nuclear program.

In November 2013, the two sides signed an interim nuclear deal in the Swiss city of Geneva that came into force on January 20.

The deal (the Joint Plan of Action) stipulates that over the course of six months, Iran and the six countries will draw up a comprehensive nuclear deal which will lead to a lifting of all the sanctions on the Islamic Republic.

The U.S. and its Western allies suspect Iran of developing a nuclear weapon - something that Iran denies. The Islamic Republic has on numerous occasions stated that it does not seek to develop nuclear weapons, using nuclear energy for medical research instead.



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