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Fri Mar 7, 2014 7:47AM
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (2nd R) and EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton (2nd L), who represents the P5+1, preside over nuclear talks in Vienna, Austria, February 18, 2014.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (2nd R) and EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton (2nd L), who represents the P5+1, preside over nuclear talks in Vienna, Austria, February 18, 2014.

The head of Iran’s expert-level nuclear negotiating team says the ongoing talks between the Islamic Republic and the P5+1 are “serious and substantive.”

Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council - the United States, China, Russia, France and Britain - plus Germany started a new round of expert-level nuclear talks on Wednesday in the Austrian capital of Vienna.

Hamid Ba’eedinejad, the director general for political and international affairs at Iran’s Foreign Ministry, told IRNA on Friday that both sides view the first two days of talks as “useful.”

He said that all participating countries have attended the meetings with their entire expert teams, adding that negotiations would continue for the third day on Friday.

Experts from Iran and the six countries are working to hammer out a comprehensive deal following a landmark nuclear accord reached in the Swiss city of Geneva last November. The Geneva deal took effect on January 20.

On the first day of the talks, the experts discussed uranium enrichment, Arak heavy-water reactor in central Iran, and peaceful nuclear cooperation with the Islamic Republic.

Senior Iranian nuclear negotiator Abbas Araqchi said late Wednesday that the Islamic Republic entered negotiations with the six countries in order to build confidence over its nuclear energy activities.

The next round of the high-level talks between Iran and the P5+1 is to be held in Vienna on March 17.

AR/HJL/HMV