Timetable Reached for Iran Nuclear Talks

Expert-level talks will kick off next month.

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Jordain Carney
Feb. 20, 2014, 7:16 a.m.

Of­fi­cials said on Thursday they have agreed to a timetable and frame­work for the talks aimed at reach­ing a long-term agree­ment over Ir­an’s nuc­le­ar pro­gram.

Cath­er­ine Ashton, the European Uni­on’s for­eign policy chief, and Ir­a­ni­an For­eign Min­is­ter Mo­hammad Javad Za­rif said that ex­pert-level talks would start next month. Del­eg­a­tions from the United States, the United King­dom, France, Ger­many, Rus­sia, China, and Ir­an will also meet on March 17.

A seni­or U.S. of­fi­cial told The New York Times that “every is­sue of con­cern to us is on the table,” in­clud­ing Ir­an’s urani­um en­rich­ment and bal­list­ic mis­siles.

The of­fi­cial ad­ded that a fi­nal agree­ment must also make it clear that Ir­an’s nuc­le­ar pro­gram can­not be used, or in­ten­ded, for the mil­it­ary.

Speak­ing at a press con­fer­ence, Ashton called this week’s round of talks “very pro­duct­ive,” and said they “iden­ti­fied all the is­sues we need to ad­dress to reach a com­pre­hens­ive and fi­nal agree­ment.”

Meet­ings have been planned for the next four months, and Ashton could travel to Ir­an be­fore the March 17 meet­ing.

Of­fi­cials reached a six-month in­ter­im agree­ment in Novem­ber, which was im­ple­men­ted in Janu­ary. Though the agree­ment sets the dead­line for reach­ing a fi­nal deal on Ir­an’s nuc­le­ar pro­gram for late Ju­ly, if of­fi­cials from all coun­tries in­volved agree, the timeline can be ex­ten­ded.

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