World powers and Iran make "good start" towards nuclear accord
Thursday, February 20, 2014 - 01:31
Feb. 20 - Six world powers and Iran made a ''good start'' in talks aimed at reaching a final settlement in the decade-old stand-off over Tehran's nuclear program. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
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The latest round of Iran nuclear talks are off to a "good start" with six world powers and Iran planning to meet again March 17.
By late July, Western governments hope to reach a deal that would end suspicions that Iran is seeking the capability to make a nuclear bomb, an aim it denies.
Tehran wants economic sanctions lifted.
European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) EUROPEAN UNION FOREIGN POLICY CHIEF, CATHERINE ASHTON, SAYING:
"We have had three very productive days during which we have identified all of the issues we need to address in reaching a comprehensive and final agreement. There is a lot to do. It won't be easy, but we have made a good start."
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif agrees.
(SOUNDBITE) (Farsi) IRANIAN FOREIGN MINISTER AND HEAD OF HIS COUNTRY'S DELEGATION, MOHAMMAD JAVAD ZARIF, SAYING:
"We discussed issues that we needed to talk about in order to reach a final and comprehensive agreement. Ahead of us, there is a lot of work to be done. It will be difficult work, but both sides feel that they had a good start for this difficult work."
Although modest in scope, the agreement on an agenda for talks indicates an early step forward in the elusive search for a settlement in the nuclear dispute.
The sides do remain far apart on how to resolve the dispute with both Iran and the United States publicly stating it that a final agreement may not be possible.
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