Iran, world powers to start work on nuclear drafts next month

DUBAI Sun Apr 20, 2014 3:45pm EDT

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif address a news conference in Vienna March 19, 2014. REUTERS/Heinz-Peter Bader

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif address a news conference in Vienna March 19, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Heinz-Peter Bader

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DUBAI (Reuters) - Iran and world powers will begin work drafting a long-term settlement of Iran's disputed nuclear program at expert-level talks in New York next month, the official state news agency IRNA reported on Sunday.

During the May 5-9 meeting, the P5+1 world powers and Iran will start "writing draft of comprehensive agreements which will be a complex and difficult work," said senior nuclear negotiator Abbas Araghchi, according to IRNA.

Hamid Baeedinejad, Director General for the Political and International Affairs Department of Foreign Ministry, will head Iran's team at talks on the sidelines of the Non-Proliferation Treaty Review preliminary committee meeting, IRNA said.

The United States, France, Germany, Britain, China, Russia have agreed a July 20 deadline with Iran to clinch a long-term deal that would allow a gradual lifting of all nuclear-related sanctions imposed on Iran over its atomic program.

Tehran denies using its declared civilian atomic energy program as a front for covertly developing the means to make nuclear weapons, saying it seeks only electricity from its enrichment of uranium.

Under a breakthrough preliminary agreement that took effect on January 20, Iran halted some aspects of its nuclear program in exchange for a limited easing of international sanctions that have laid low the major oil producer's economy.

In its monthly update, the International Atomic Energy Agency, which has a pivotal role in verifying that Iran is living up to its part of the accord, said that Iran so far was undertaking the agreed steps to curb its nuclear program.

(Reporting By Michelle Moghtader and Mehrdad Balali; editing by Jon Boyle)

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