TEHRAN, Dec. 17 (Xinhua) -- Iran hopes to resume expert-level nuclear talks with the P5+1 group in the near future, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said Tuesday.
"Timing (for resumption of the talks) should be agreed by both sides, and we hope the expert-level negotiation will begin in the near future," Marzieh Afkham told reporters in her weekly press briefing.
The recent telephone conversation between the U.S. secretary of state and the Iranian foreign minister, and the ongoing meeting of Iran's nuclear negotiator and the EU's foreign policy chief expressed hopes for an agreement on the resumption of expert-level talks, Afkham said.
Last Thursday, local media reported that Iran's expert-level nuclear negotiating team halted talks with the representatives of world powers in Vienna, which had started on Dec. 9, for further consultations with Iranian officials, adding that the expert-level negotiating team of the Islamic republic stopped the talks in a response to the United States' blacklisting of additional companies and individuals for evading existing sanctions against Iran.
The expert-level meetings between Iran and the representatives of powers are aimed at developing mechanisms for implementing the interim deal signed between Iran and the P5+1 group, including the United States, Britain, France, Russia, China plus Germany, in November.
Iran and the P5+1 group struck a deal in Geneva on Nov. 24, in which Iran agreed to freeze part of its nuclear program in exchange for limited ease of sanctions which hurt its economy.
On Tuesday, Afkham also expressed hope that the expert-level meetings will lead to high-level meetings for further agreements.
In addition, Afkham welcomed the recent EU's consideration of suspending its sanctions against Iran.
On Monday, EU foreign ministers said in a statement that the bloc was committed to taking necessary steps to suspend the sanctions set out in a joint plan of action immediately after the International Atomic Energy Agency verifies the implementation of the nuclear-related measures by Iran, and on the basis of recommendation by EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton.
"The overall spirit of the EU statement is useful and constructive," Afkham said, adding that "we hope to witness the implementation of it in practice."
"We evaluate the EU statement as a sign of readiness for taking the first step," she maintained, warning: "Any new sanctions against Iran means the death of (Geneva) deal and the joint plan of action."
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