Iran Expects no Breakthrough in Nuclear Talks on Saturday

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Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi said a breakthrough agreement is unlikely during Saturday’s talks on curbing Iran's nuclear program.

MOSCOW, November 23 (RIA Novosti) – Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi said a breakthrough agreement is unlikely during Saturday’s talks on curbing Iran's nuclear program.

“The negotiations are difficult and intense and it is unclear whether we will be able to produce any result this evening,” the Fars news agency quoted the deputy minister as saying.

He earlier said the sides differ in their approaches to some issues.

Top diplomats of the “5+1” group of international negotiators gathered in Geneva for talks on Iran’s nuclear program on Saturday. A spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry said before the meeting that the talks are “in their final moment.”

The negotiations are likely to continue on Sunday as all delegations involved have extended their hotel reservations until Sunday, a hotel spokesman said.

Foreign ministers of the “5+1” met without the participation of Iran earlier in the day. They also met with EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton.

Expectations ran high at the previous round of talks in Geneva earlier this month, also attended by 5+1 foreign ministers and Iran’s top diplomat, Mohammad Javad Zarif. But a deal failed to materialize.

Western powers say Iran’s officially peaceful nuclear program may be aimed at producing atomic weapons.

Iran reportedly proposed in Geneva a partial and possibly temporary freeze of its nuclear program in exchange for lifting of some of the sanctions against the country’s economy.

The extent of the freeze and the sanctions to be lifted remain a topic of debate.

 

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