Iran closer to a deal over Tehran’s nuclear programme


Iran and six world powers are closer to a deal that would end the long stand-off over Tehran’s nuclear programme, Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Thursday in Vienna.

wpid-Japan-nuclear-plant.jpg“We are starting to move forward,” Zarif said after the latest round of talks in the Austrian capital.

There was no statement to summarize progress from Catherine Ashton, the chief negotiator for the sextet consisting of Britain, China, France, Russia, the United States and Germany.

No date and venue for new talks were announced.

Together with US Secretary of State John Kerry, Zarif and Ashton spent seven hours on Wednesday trying to iron out the issues hindering a deal to curb Iran’s nuclear programme and limit its ability to build a nuclear weapon.

The six nations are offering to lift sanctions on Iran in return.

A senior US official said Wednesday that both sides have been moving towards an agreement in small steps but pointed to the size of Iran’s uranium enrichment programme and uranium stocks as the biggest stumbling blocks.

Under the agreement, due to be sealed by November 24, the sextet wants to prevent Iran from making nuclear weapons material at the country’s uranium enrichment plants and a plutonium-producing reactor in Arak.

Tehran’s leaders stress that they need uranium to fuel power reactors and that the Arak reactor serves only scientific and medical purposes.

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