Iran foreign minister to hold 'detailed' talks with EU foreign policy chief Thursday
TEHRAN - Agence France-PresseIranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said he will hold "serious and detailed" negotiations on a nuclear deal with European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton on Nov. 21.
"So far, we have progressed based on our plans and we agreed to start serious and detailed negotiations about the agreement with Lady Ashton tomorrow," Zarif wrote on his Facebook page on Nov. 20 after having lunch with Ashton.
The EU top diplomat represents the six major powers in talks with Iran on its controversial nuclear programme that resumed on Wednesday amid growing hopes of a landmark accord.
"Tomorrow morning .. I will have a meeting with Lady Ashton, which is the beginning of negotiations to examine how to finalise the draft," the ISNA news agency quoted Zarif as saying.
"We should find a way to carry out this task together and based on mutual respect." The last round of talks with Iran that ended on November 10 came tantalisingly close to a framework agreement, but failed to deliver in the face of what Iran said were last-ditch French misgivings.
The P5+1 group of Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States plus Germany wants Iran to suspend certain parts of its nuclear programme for a period of several months in a "first phase" towards a comprehensive deal.