[QODLink]
Europe

Iran hopeful of deal at Geneva nuclear talks

EU official calls negotiations "complex" and in "serious phase" after Iran's Zarif says agreement "possible this week".

Last Modified: 07 Nov 2013 11:06
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback

An agreement that would open the door to a resolution of the decade-long nuclear standoff between Iran and six world powers is possible this week if negotiators exert the maximum efforts, Iran's foreign minister says.

But the Western side was more reserved on Thursday as it prepared for two days of talks in the Swiss city of Geneva over Iran's disputed nuclear programme.

The West and Israel suspect Iran's nuclear drive may be aimed at developing atomic weapons, but Iran insists the programme is only for the generation of electricity and medical purposes.

"If everyone tries their best, we may have one," Mohammad Javad Zarif, the foreign minister, said on Thursday after a breakfast meeting with Catherine Ashton, European Union foreign policy chief.

"We expect serious negotiations. It's possible," he said when asked if an agreement was conceivable.

"I believe it is even possible to reach that agreement this week," Zarif told France 24 television on Tuesday.

"But I can only talk for our side, I cannot talk for the other side."

Michael Mann, Ashton's spokesman, said the talks "are complex and have entered a serious phase".

Earlier on Thursday, Zarif admitted the talks - between Iran and the five permanent UN Security Council members and Germany - will be "very difficult".

"My colleagues and delegations from the P5+1 countries are starting very difficult negotiations because we have entered a detailed phase that is still difficult and precise," Zarif said on his Facebook page.

Wendy Sherman, lead US negotiator, has expressed hopes that the talks will be a "first step" to resolving the issue, and said that Washington is prepared to offer Iran "very limited, temporary, reversible" relief from sanctions.

Abbas Araghchi, Iran's senior negotiator and deputy foreign minister, has said that the fresh round of negotiations were "a test of the political will of the P5+1 to reach a solution" to end the nuclear crisis.

He was also expected to hold talks in Geneva with Lakhdar Brahimi, the UN-Arab League peace envoy to Syria, before travelling to Rome for a "few hours" to meet his Italian counterpart, Emma Bonino.

342

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Muslim volunteers face questioning and threat of arrest, while aid has been disrupted or blocked, charities say.
Six months on, outrage and sorrow over the mass schoolgirl abduction has disappeared - except for families in Nigeria.
ISIL combatants seeking an 'exit strategy' from Mideast conflict need positive reinforcement back home, analysts say.
European nation hit by a wave of Islamophobia as many young fighters join ISIL in Syria and Iraq.
Featured
Lack of child protection laws means abandoned and orphaned kids rely heavily on the care of strangers.
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Since she was 16-years-old, Scottish Nationalist Party's Sturgeon has strove for independence from the UK.
Armed group's ransom success with German hostages marks a re-emergence, as authorities investigate ISIL links.
Western nations are moving into the resource-rich country after decades of disinterest, challenging China's interests.