Iranian nuclear talks to be extended till Nov. 24
                 English.news.cn | 2014-07-19 07:54:03 | Editor: Fu Peng

AUSTRIA-VIENNA-IRAN-NUCLEAR TALKS-EXTENSION

Catherine Ashton, the High Commissioner of European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, participates in a press conference in Vienna, Austria, early July 19, 2014. Iranian nuclear talks will be extended for four more months till Nov. 24, as stakeholders still have "significant gaps on core issues," said Ashton. (Xinhua/Qian Yi) 

VIENNA, July 19 (Xinhua) -- Iranian nuclear talks will be extended for another four months till Nov. 24, as stakeholders still have "significant gaps on core issues," the European Union and Iran said here Saturday.

"We have made tangible progress on some of the issues," said EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in a joint statement, but "there are still significant gaps on some core issues which will require more time and effort."

Ashton is leading the talks on behalf of the six world powers, namely the United States, Britain, France, China, Russia, and Germany, to settle the decade-old disputes over Iran's nuclear program.

The joint statement came only one day ahead of the July 20 deadline for a final and comprehensive agreement on Iran's nuclear program.

Meanwhile, the Joint Plan of Action, known as the interim deal, will also be extended till Nov. 24.

The interim deal, which took effect on Jan. 20, was designed to buy time for negotiations. Under the deal, Iran would suspend some sensitive nuclear activities in exchange for limited sanction relief.

Iran and the six world powers "reaffirmed that they will continue to implement all their commitments described in the Joint Plan of Action in an efficient and timely manner," Ashton said.

Chief negotiator of the Chinese delegation, Wang Qun, supported the extension in a later statement, saying the agreement will help to resolve the problem through political negotiations.

China hopes the participants will value this opportunity and adopt a "gung-ho attitude" in the coming talks, Wang Qun said.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry warned earlier this month that if there is not enough progress in the talks by July 20, the U.S. may not allow them to continue.

Kerry stayed in Vienna for three days engaging in tough negotiations with his Iranian counterpart Zarif earlier this week.

In recent months, the talks for a final deal stalled as the two sides are still far apart on some core issues, such as Iran's future enrichment capacity.

Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said last Tuesday that Iran needs 190,000 separative work units (SWUs) for uranium enrichment, much higher than the West's anticipation under a comprehensive agreement.

According to the EU foreign policy chief, the participating parties will reconvene in the coming weeks.

Related:

Iran to agree on extension of nuclear talks "if rights respected": Rouhani

TEHRAN, July 17 (Xinhua) -- Iran will agree on an extension of the nuclear talks for another period of time, if the world powers respect Iran's nuclear rights, President Hassan Rouhani said on Thursday.

"To build confidence and to be transparent, we have been and will be flexible in the nuclear talks. But we will not slacken over the nuclear rights of the Iranian nation," Rouhani was quoted as saying by official IRNA news agency. Full story

Iran urges U.S. to make "political decision" to break stalemate in nuclear talks

TEHRAN, July 15 (Xinhua) -- The United States must make a " political decision" to end the "current deadlock" in the ongoing talks in Vienna over Tehran's nuclear program, Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad-Javad Zarif was quoted as saying by Press TV on Tuesday.

Washington needs a political decision to prepare the ground for an agreement and to help break the stalemate over the nuclear issue, Zarif told reporters in Vienna on Tuesday following three rounds of negotiations with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. Full story


 

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