Iran talks 'very substantial and detailed': EU
GENEVA - Agence France-Presse
A picture released by the European Commission shows Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif (2nd-R) and his deputy Seyyed Abbas Araghchi (R) meeting with EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton (C), Helga Maria Schmid, deputy secretary general of the European External Action Service (EEAS) and James Morrison (L), head of Ashton's cabinet, during talks over Iran's nuclear programme in Geneva on November 20, 2013. AFP PhotoTalks on Thursday between Iran's foreign minister and world powers' chief negotiator Catherine Ashton were "very substantial and detailed," Ashton's spokesman said.
"Very substantial and detailed start of negotiations," between Ashton and Mohammad Jarad Zarif, spokesman Michael Mann said on Twitter. "Getting down to detailed work." Majid Takht-e-Ravanchi, a member of the Iranian delegation, told IRNA that the "discussions were good and we delved into content and details." "However, differences between the views of each side remain," he said.
The talks, the third since President Hassan Rouhani took office, are aimed at getting Iran to scale back some of its nuclear programme in exchange for minor sanctions relief.
It is meant to be a "first-phase" deal while details of a comprehensive final accord are worked out by Iran and the United States, China, Russia, Britain, France and Germany.
Iran warns of 'lack of trust' at nuclear talks
Iran's chief negotiator warned Thursday of a lingering "lack of trust" and "major differences" at nuclear talks with world powers in Geneva, saying it was hampering progress over a deal.
Abbas Araqchi, a deputy foreign minister, said Iran would not sign up to an agreement on its controversial nuclear programme unless the so-called P5+1 group accepts what Tehran considers its right to enrich uranium.
"No deal that does not include the right to uranium enrichment -- from first (step) to final (step) -- will be accepted," Araqchi said on his Twitter account.
"The main obstacle is the lack of trust because of what happened at the last round," Araqchi told state television, referring to last minute toughening of terms to a mooted accord in the previous round of talks.
"As long as trust is not restored, we cannot continue constructive negotiations," Araqchi said.
Thursday's second day of the latest round of talks was to focus the draft of a landmark deal that would partially curb Iran's nuclear work in exchange for limited sanctions relief.
Western powers and Israel suspect Iran's nuclear work is masking military objectives, a claim Tehran vehemently denies.
Araqchi said -- without elaborating -- that there are still "major differences" between the two sides and hinted at a "difficult task" ahead.
But he expressed hope for "a deal by tomorrow (Friday)" and called for his counterparts to be "flexible"