Middle East

Iran nuclear talks to resume by mid-Oct: Tehran

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 26: U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (R) meets with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (L) and EU High Representative Lady Catherine Ashton on September 26, 2014 in New York City. Andrew Burton/Getty Images/AFP

TEHRAN: Difficult talks between Iran and world powers on Tehran's nuclear programme will resume in Europe before mid-October, a senior Iranian official was quoted as saying Monday.

Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi said the negotiations -- aimed at brokering a historic deal by a November 24 deadline -- would resume in Vienna or Geneva within two weeks.

"We have been able to have a much better understanding in a constructive atmosphere but there are differences on major issues," Araqchi told Japan's Kyodo News.

He said recent talks in New York did not make "substantive progress" and that Iran was not interested in extending the deadline.

"If it would be a deal, let's do it now, an extension would be useless and difficult," Araqchi said in the report, which was picked up by Iran's official IRNA news agency.

Negotiators from the so-called P5+1 group -- Britain, China, France, Russia, the United States plus Germany -- are seeking to reach a deal to scale back Tehran's nuclear activities by the deadline.

Western powers fear Tehran is using its nuclear programme as a cover to develop nuclear weapons. Iran says it has only peaceful intentions.

Iran wants UN and Western sanctions lifted and is pushing for the right to enrich uranium, a process which can produce material for a bomb.

 

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