* Iranian negotiator says all disputes resolved
* U.S. says deal not finalised
* EU reports very good progress
(Adds diplomats, details)
By Tom Miles
GENEVA, Jan 10 Iran and the European Union
appeared to make progress in resolving outstanding differences
on how to implement a landmark nuclear deal in talks in Geneva
on Friday but the United States said discussions were not yet
Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi met a senior EU
official in Geneva to iron out remaining practical details of
the Nov. 24 accord under which Iran agreed to curb its most
sensitive nuclear work in return for some sanctions relief.
After the meeting, he told Reuters that the sides had found
"solutions for every difference" but more consultations were
needed before an agreement could be announced.
"Now we are taking the solutions ... home, all of us.
Hopefully tomorrow we can either confirm or not, but hopefully
confirm," he said.
The European Union liaises with Iran on behalf of six world
powers - the United States, Russia, China, France, Britain and
Germany - in diplomatic efforts related to Tehran's nuclear
A spokesman for the EU, Michael Mann, said "very good"
progress was made "on all the pertinent issues", but added that
results of the talks still had to be validated by more senior
In Washington, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told a
news briefing that the technical talks were making good progress
but reports that a deal had been finalised were inaccurate.
"There have been a few outstanding issues, but at this
point, the reports that everything has been finalised are
incorrect," she said.
The seven countries need to agree when the nuclear accord
goes into effect, meaning when the European Union and the United
States ease economic sanctions in return for Iranian nuclear
concessions, and how they will verify that Iran is meeting its
end of the bargain.
During years of on-and-off diplomacy, Iran has rejected
western allegations its work has military goals, saying it needs
nuclear power for energy generation and medical purposes.
In a series of implementation talks between nuclear experts
and sanctions specialists from the seven countries and the EU,
held since Nov. 24, several issues linked to the accord have
There appear to be disagreements over the sequence of how
the sides implement the deal, and how much prior notice of Iran
fulfilling its obligations should be given to western
governments before they ease sanctions.
The talks have also run into problems over advanced
centrifuge research, highlighting the huge challenges facing
Iran and the six powers in negotiating the precise terms of the
Diplomats have said the sides aim to start implementing the
agreement on Jan. 20, to allow EU foreign ministers, scheduled
to meet that day, to approve the suspension of EU sanctions
covered by the deal. Preparations for that to take place were
under way in Brussels, officials said.
The agreement is designed to last six months and the six
powers hope to use the time to negotiate a final, broad
settlement over Iran's nuclear ambitions.
Underscoring scepticism about future diplomacy, one western
diplomat said progress towards implementation of the November
deal was a good sign, but difficulties remained in agreeing a
broad accord to settle the decade-old dispute.
"It is welcome but we can't lose sight of fact that it only
really represents a cooling-off period," he said.
(Writing by Parisa Hafezi and Justyna Pawlak; additional
reporting by Adrian Croft in Brussels, Fredrik Dahl in Vienna
and Arshad Mohammed in Washington; editing by Andrew Roche)