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Nuclear Discussions Continue Between Iran and P1+5

Catherine Ashton addresses a news conference following nuclear negotiations with Iran at the United Nations in Geneva. (October 16, 2013.)

Iran and the P5+1 agreed to meet again in Geneva on November 7 and 8 to continue discussions.

After two days of discussions on October 15 and 16 over Iran’s nuclear program, representatives of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the group of nations known as the P5+1 –- China, Britain, France, Russia, the United States and Germany –- agreed to meet again in Geneva on November 7 and 8 to continue discussions.

Nuclear Discussions Continue Between Iran and P1+5
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The two sides are hoping to negotiate a diplomatic agreement which provides assurance that Iran will not acquire a nuclear weapon.

A joint communique from Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and the P5+1’s lead negotiator, European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, called the October negotiations “substantive and forward looking.”

In a television interview, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman, who headed the U.S. delegation, also described the discussions positively. “Foreign Minister Zarif and his delegation came prepared for detailed, substantive discussion with a candor that I certainly have not heard in the two years I’ve been meeting with Iranians,” she said. “We’re trying to pick up the pace of this, to move quickly, because we don’t want Iran’s nuclear program to keep moving forward. At the same time, we are cautious, as we test this new government.”

Under Secretary of State Sherman noted that technical experts from the P5+1 and Iran will convene prior to the November meeting in Geneva. “We knew coming in that we would not in all likelihood reach an agreement [during the October discussions]. This is highly technical work when you’re talking about a nuclear program and all the dimensions of it,” she said. “We have a great deal more work to do.”

At a press briefing, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters, “The onus remains on Iran to come into compliance with its international obligations, and any deal must prove to the international community that Iran’s program will be used for exclusively peaceful purposes.”