Vienna, Feb 20 IANS | 5 months ago

European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif announced Thursday a schedule for the next round of Iranian nuclear talks.


At a joint press conference, speaking about the nuclear talks between Iran and the P5+1 -- China, Britain, France, Russia, and the US plus Germany -- in Vienna, Ashton said they had "three very productive days", during which the participants "identified all of the issues we need to address in reaching a comprehensive final agreement".

"We have set a timetable of meetings, initially over the next four months with a framework to continue our deliberations," Xinhua quoted her as saying.

Ashton also said that there are a lot to do and it would not be easy, but she added that "we made a good start".

She said technical experts would meet in early March and the involved parties would reconvene for the next meeting of the world powers led by Ashton and Zarif in Vienna March 17.

A senior US official from the State Department confirmed that the talks have made some progress, saying they "begin to see some area of agreement".

The official said there are still uncertainties in future talks, adding there has always been fluctuations.

The three-day talks that started Tuesday were based on an interim deal agreed in Geneva last year, in which Iran suspended most of the sensitive facets of its nuclear activities in exchange for partial relief of the sanctions slapped on it.

The parties involved are striving to clinch a comprehensive deal over the decade-long nuclear standoff.

(Posted on 20-02-2014)