VIENNA, October 14 (RIA Novosti), Daria Chernyshova - The deadline to reach a long-term agreement on the Iranian nuclear program remains unchanged and is set for November 24, the EU foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton’s spokesperson Michael Mann told RIA Novosti on Tuesday.
When responding to the question of whether the deadline has been postponed, Mann said “It is all speculation. The deadline is the 24th of November. Catherine Ashton will work as hard as she can to try it get the deal by the deadline.”
On Tuesday, Tehran’s negotiators headed by Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif will meet with senior US officials - Deputy Secretary of State William Burns and Under Secretary for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman, as well as with the EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton. US Secretary of State John Jerry will join the talks on Wednesday.
The sides are expected to announce the date for the next round of talks between Iran and the P5+1 group of international mediators comprising Russia, the United States, the United Kingdom, France, China, and Germany after this week's Vienna talks.
The deal on an Iranian nuclear program was initially supposed to be reached by July 2014, but the deadline for the agreement was later postponed to November 24, 2014.
The West and Israel have accused Iran of attempting to develop a nuclear weapon under the guise of a civilian nuclear program, while Tehran argues that its nuclear development is aimed purely at meeting the country's growing energy needs and achieving other peaceful goals.
In September, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani once again confirmed Tehran's readiness to secure a historic nuclear deal with the West, but underscored that the country was not going to give up its peaceful nuclear program.