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New round of Iran nuclear talks Jan 18 in Geneva: EU

Major world powers and Iran will hold fresh talks on Tehran’s disputed nuclear programme in Geneva on January 18 as they try to meet an end-June deadline for a deal, the European Union announced on Wednesday.

The EU-chaired talks, which are aimed at allaying western fears Iran is seeking nuclear weapons, will be at the official level, picking up from a similar December round in Geneva.

They both follow a November round when political leaders failed to strike an accord and decided to extend the negotiations.

The P5+1 powers -- Britain, China, France, Russia, the United States plus Germany -- “will continue negotiations ...with a view to making further progress towards a long-term comprehensive solution on the nuclear issue,” the EU’s external affairs arm said.

The meeting will be chaired by EU Political Director Helga Schmid, it added. Iran has said it expects to have bilateral meetings with P5+1 officials on January 15 in Geneva, before moving into the multilateral format.

Iran and the P5+1 nations agreed in late 2013 to hold talks on the basis that Tehran would open up its nuclear programme and they would ease punishing sanctions which have brought the Iranian economy to its knees. A final agreement is meant to ensure that Tehran never develops nuclear weapons and that the sanctions are completely lifted. Iran insists its nuclear programme is entirely peaceful. 
Agencies

Agencies

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