Sunday Dec 22, 201307:01 PM GMT
Iran, Sextet to continue expert talks after Christmas
Sun Dec 22, 2013 3:5PM
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Iran and the six major world powers have agreed to resume a fresh round of expert-level talks on Iran's nuclear energy program following the Christmas holidays.

The agreement came in a telephone conversation between Iran Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton, who represents the six powers in nuclear talks with Tehran, on Sunday.

Zarif and Ashton also discussed the latest outcome of recent expert-level talks between Iran and the six countries over the past four days in the Swiss city of Geneva.

The Iranian minister and EU foreign policy chief agreed that both sides would proceed with their consultations.

Expert-level talks between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council -- Britain, China, France, Russia and the US -- plus Germany entered an unscheduled fourth day in Geneva on Sunday with the purpose of devising mechanisms to implement an interim nuclear deal inked on November 24 to set the stage for the full resolution of the West’s dispute with Iran over the country’s nuclear energy program.

Under the Geneva deal, the six powers have agreed to lift some of the existing sanctions against the Islamic Republic in exchange for Iran agreeing to limit certain aspects of its nuclear activities during a six-month period. It was also agreed that no more sanctions would be imposed on Iran within the same timeframe.

Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs Abbas Araqchi said on Saturday that little progress has been made in the latest round of expert-level nuclear talks between Tehran and the six powers.

SF/HGH/SS

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