VIENNA, October 15 (RIA Novosti), Daria Chernyshova - Trilateral talks on Tehran's nuclear program will be held in Vienna on Wednesday, involving Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and US Secretary of State John Kerry.
"The idea is that there will be a bilateral meeting between Catherine Ashton and Zarif, then they will be joined by Secretary of State Kerry. That's going to happen tomorrow. And the hope is that they just make some progress," Ashton's spokesperson Michael Mann said Tuesday.
Mann noted that talks of a possible extension of the November 24 deadline are "speculations," and that the deadline "is still 5-6 weeks away, we have to see what happens in the talks."
On Tuesday, Iranian nuclear negotiators arrived in the Austrian capital for nuclear talks at the political leadership level. In addition, Zarif held a three-hour meeting with Ashton, described by Ashton's spokesman as "useful".
By November 24, Iran and P5+1 are scheduled to work out a "mutually-agreed long-term comprehensive solution that would ensure Iran's nuclear program will be exclusively peaceful," according to the Joint Plan of Action (JPA). The JPA, an interim nuclear deal, was adopted last November in Geneva and started the process paving the way for a long-term nuclear deal.
The main issues of contention now include the level of uranium enrichment and the lifting of US, EU and UN sanctions against Iran. Earlier on Tuesday, Zarif said that a breakthrough was unlikely to be achieved this week, though the meetings with the European Union and the United States will become a step toward, striking a comprehensive nuclear deal.
"Although we do not expect a breakthrough in the trilateral negotiations, but still this round could pave the way for a final agreement," Zarif said Tuesday as he arrived in the Austrian capital.
The latest round of negotiations took place on September 24, when the 5+1 group of international mediators met with the Iranian delegation in New York to discuss the Islamic Republic nuclear program, although they failed to reach an agreement with Tehran on any of the key issues.