Iran, world powers to hold n-talks from Thursday

Tehran, April 2: Experts from Iran and six major world powers will meet Thursday for a new round of talks on Iran’s controversial nuclear programme, Fars news agency reported Wednesday.

Hamid Baeidinejad, Iran’s director general of political and legal affairs, will lead the Iranian delegation in the negotiations, which will be held April 3-6 in Austrian capital Vienna, the report said.

Iran and the P5+1 group, which includes Britain, China, France, Russia and the US plus Germany, held a two-day nuclear meeting in Vienna in March.

Both EU foreign policy Chief Catherine Ashton and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad-Javad Zarif called the talks “substantive” and “useful”, Xinhua reported.

The West is asking Iran to significantly scale back its nuclear programme to ensure the peaceful nature of its nuclear plan. On the other hand, Iran wants the sanctions imposed by the West on the country be relieved.

Both sides have agreed to reconvene the next round of talks May 7 in Vienna, in which they would continue to discuss tough issues, including Iran’s heavy water reactor.

Iran and the six major states struck a six-month interim deal in Geneva last November, in which Iran agreed to suspend some controversial nuclear activities starting Jan 20, with the Western states lifting some sanctions imposed on Iran.