December 30, 2014 / 4:39 PM / 5 years ago

Iran says nuclear talks set for Jan 15, vows to stand firm

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif arrives at the Iranian embassy for lunch with former European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton in Vienna November 18, 2014. REUTERS/Heinz-Peter Bader

DUBAI (Reuters) - Iran and six world powers are set to resume low-level talks on Iran’s nuclear program in Geneva on Jan 15, with wide gaps remaining in their positions, the Iranian foreign minister said.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, the lead negotiator for Iran with the six powers known as “P5+1,” made the remarks in a closed-door session with members of the Iranian parliament’s National Security Committee, according to state news agency IRNA.

“We have stood firm and demand lifting of all sanctions at once,” Zarif said. “If there are any rational proposals we will comply, otherwise we are ready for any outcome.”

Last week, Zarif urged Western powers to drop “unrealistic” demands so the dispute can be resolved. “I am confident that a comprehensive agreement is within reach,” he wrote to his counterparts across the West. “But we will firmly resist any humiliating illegitimate demands.”

The “P5+1” - the United States, France, Germany, Russia, China and Britain - reached a preliminary agreement with Iran last year for it to suspend its most sensitive nuclear activity.

Western countries in turn eased some economic sanctions imposed during the 12-year nuclear dispute.

Iran says its program is peaceful; the West fears it may lead to developing nuclear weapons. The two sides failed for a second time last month to meet a self-imposed deadline for ending the standoff. A preliminary accord was extended until June 30.

Reporting by Mehrdad Balali; Editing by Larry King

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