EU, Iran to talk this week about implementing nuclear deal
BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Iran's deputy foreign minister Abbas Araqchi will meet a senior European Union official at the end of the week in Geneva to discuss implementing a landmark nuclear deal between Tehran and six world powers, the EU said on Monday.
The powers - the United States, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany - agreed in November to ease some economic sanctions while Iran pledged to curb its most sensitive nuclear activity.
Since then, the countries have been negotiating practical details of how to implement a deal meant to allow time to find a final settlement with Iran that would end a decade-old standoff and ease worries over a new war in the Middle East.
"I can now confirm that (EU negotiator) Helga Schmid will meet with her counterpart ... Araqchi at the end of the week in Geneva," spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic said, declining to confirm which day the talks would be held.
One source said the meeting would likely take place on Thursday and Friday.
Schmid is a deputy to EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, who has overseen contacts between the six powers and Iran on the nuclear standoff.
German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier told reporters in Brussels on Monday that it was a "realistic time frame" for the negotiations with Iran to be done by the end of January, apparently meaning implementation could start by then.
An Iranian negotiator, Hamid Baeidinejad, was quoted by Iranian Press TV as saying after expert-level talks in Geneva last week that the six powers and Iran had agreed to start implementing the deal in late January.
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