GENEVA, March 19 (Xinhua) -- Diplomats from world powers and Iran on Thursday continued the new round of nuclear talks to bridge gaps on Tehran's nuclear issue, as the deadline to reach a framework agreement by the end of March is approaching.
According to Iran state news agency IRNA, Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry held their sixth and seventh meetings during the day.
Zarif on Thursday told reporters that he will stay in Lausanne as long as it is required to negotiate over a deal on Iran's peaceful nuclear program, adding that the negotiations are in the final stage that requires more intensive talks.
Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi and U.S. Under Secretary of State Wendy Sherman, the head of Atomic Energy Organization of Iran Ali Akbar Salehi and U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz also held separate negotiations.
Senior officials from Iran and the P5+1 countries (the United States, China, Russia, France, Britain, plus Germany) on Wednesday kicked off a new round of nuclear talks in the Swiss city of Lausanne. The talks came after top U.S. and Iran diplomats held intensive bilateral meetings since Sunday.
P5+1 countries and Iran were expected to sit on the negotiating table on Friday in a bid to reach a framework agreement ahead of the March 31 deadline.
Jen Psaki, a spokeswomen from U.S. Department of State, on Wednesday said the U.S.-Iran bilateral talks have been difficult by constructive.
She noted on the technical side, the discussions have been professional and fruitful in terms of identifying the technical issues, clarifying them, sharpening them, and looking at the options on the table for a potential agreement.
"There are still a couple of days left. As we've also said, the deadline is the end of the month. That's what we're working toward," Psaki added.
Under an interim deal between Iran and the P5+1 inked in November, 2013, Iran said it would suspend critical nuclear activities in return for some ease of sanctions, with all sides seeking a final and comprehensive deal. The six world powers had set a June 30 deadline to forge a final and comprehensive agreement.
TEHRAN, March 19 (Xinhua) -- Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad-Javad Zarif said on Thursday the current round of nuclear talks is at its final stage with negotiators staying in Switzerland to find solutions for the remaining problems. Full story
GENEVA/TEHRAN, March 19 (Xinhua) -- As the March 31 deadline for a framework agreement on Iran's nuclear program is drawing near, six world powers endeavored to narrow down differences with Tehran on some key issues that may hamper the deal. Full story