Monday, 10 November 2014

Iran, US, EU wrap up high-level nuclear talks in Oman........

Iran, the US and the EU have wrapped up two days of high-level talks in the Omani capital city of Muscat about disagreements hindering a comprehensive deal on Tehran’s nuclear energy program.

Trilateral talks between Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, US Secretary of State John Kerry and European Union’s (EU) envoy, Catherine Ashton, wrapped up in Muscat on Monday after the sides held four rounds of discussions.

The negotiations were aimed at facilitating a final deal over Iran's nuclear energy program before the November 24 deadline.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (R), his US counterpart, John Kerry (L), and European Union

The extent of Iran’s uranium enrichment as well as a timetable for the removal of US and EU sanctions were high on the agenda of the Oman negotiations.

Last November, Iran and the P5+1 group of countries clinched an interim nuclear accord, which took effect on January 20 and expired six months later. However, they agreed to extend their talks until November 24 as they remained divided on a number of key issues.

Sources close to the Iranian negotiating team say the main stumbling block in the way of resolving the Western dispute over Iran’s nuclear energy program remains to be the removal of all the bans imposed on the country, and not the number of centrifuges or the level of uranium enrichment.

Tehran wants the sanctions entirely lifted while Washington, under pressure from the pro-Israeli lobby, insists that at least the UN-imposed sanctions should remain in place.