Iran nuclear talks scheduled for Feb 18

Tehran, Feb 1: The next round of nuclear talks between Iran and the six major world powers will be held Feb 18 in Austria’s capital Vienna, said an Iranian minister.

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif announced the decision Friday after his meeting with Catherine Ashton, European Union foreign policy chief, on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference, Press TV reported Saturday.

“At the meeting with Ashton we agreed to hold the next round of Iran’s nuclear talks with the Group P5+1 (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany) in Vienna Feb 18,” said Zarif.

Previous reports suggested that the next round of the negotiations would be held in New York in February to set the stage for achieving a permanent agreement.

Iran and the six world powers — the US, France, Britain, Russia, China plus Germany — had inked an interim deal on Iran’s nuclear energy programme in Geneva last November. The deal came into force Jan 20.

Under the deal, Iran agreed to limit certain aspects of its nuclear activities as a confidence-building measure and the world powers agreed to give Iran some relief in sanctions and release more than $4 billion of Tehran’s oil revenues.

Meanwhile, Russian foreign ministry’s Security and Disarmament Department director Mikhail Ulyanov said Friday that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has found no violation by Iran of the November nuclear deal.

The Russian official underscored Iran’s “unprecedented level of cooperation with the IAEA” regarding access “to any facility of interest to the agency”.