P5+1, Iran poised to accelerate Teheran's nuclear talks

GENEVA. KAZINFORM - Six world major countries and Iran on Sunday kicked off a new round of Teheran's nuclear talks, poised to accelerate the time-pressed negotiation.

The new round of talks is the second meeting between the P5+1 group, namely Britain, China, France, Russia, the United States, and Germany, and Iran after the failure to meet a Nov. 24 deadline last year for a comprehensive nuclear deal. The last meeting was held on Dec. 17 in Geneva. The talks, chaired by EU official Helga Schmid, held with a view to making further progress towards a long-term comprehensive solution on the nuclear issue. Last week, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad-Javad Zarif held several bilateral meeting in Geneva and Paris over Tehran's disputed nuclear program, followed by further U.S.-Iran negotiations led by acting Deputy Secretary of State Wendy R. Sherman and Iran deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi, xXinhua informs. Critics reckoned the rare and frequent high-level consultations have sent positive signals towards a framework accord for the comprehensive nuclear deal by March. Despite wide gaps between Tehran and the world major countries remained, Zarif on Saturday expressed optimism about a solution to his country's nuclear issue. Iran and the P5+1 group are working to reach a framework of agreement by the end of March, the Iranian senior nuclear negotiator told the Iranian state-run IRIB TV. Wang Qun, director-general of the Department of Arms Control of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who led the Chinese negotiation team, Sunday morning told Xinhua that all sides are striking for the goal of reaching a framework of agreement by march, it is the hope of Beijing and all parties will seize this historic opportunity racing against the time. He called on all sides to adopt the pragmatic and flexible approach with wisdom and to demonstrate possible maximum political will with resolute political decision to forward the negotiation. Wang hoped that the ongoing efforts of all parties will be paying off and the anticipated results to be achieved. Iran has been a target of UN sanctions due to its alleged attempts to build nuclear weapons. The West accuses Iran of developing nuclear weapons under the cover of civilian nuclear programs, which Iran has denied, insisting that its nuclear programs are for peaceful purposes only. The sides agreed in November 2014 to extend the deadline for another seven months and aimed to reach a political agreement within the next four months. How much nuclear capability Iran can keep, and the steps to lift West-imposed sanctions against Tehran are the main sticking points for the ongoing negotiations.

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