Iran, six world powers extend expert-level talks

Iran, six world powers extend expert-level talks

PanARMENIAN.Net - Iran and six world powers have extended expert-level talks in Geneva on the implementation of a landmark deal obliging Tehran to curb its nuclear program for at least one additional day, diplomats said on Friday, Dec 20, according to Reuters.

A round of discussions on the deal started on Thursday in Geneva and was scheduled to last through Friday.

The seven countries need to decide when the agreement goes into effect and to work out technical aspects of how Iran will suspend its most sensitive nuclear work.

In return for nuclear concessions, Western governments will ease some economic sanctions, but they have yet to agree how much prior verification they will get to be assured that Iran is meeting its obligations.

Iran rejects Western fears that its nuclear work has any military intentions and says it needs nuclear power for electricity generation and medical research.

The November 24 agreement is meant to give the six powers - the United States, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany - time to negotiate a final settlement with Iran that could put an end to the decade-old standoff and ease worries over a new war in the Middle East.

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Iran's nuclear program

Iran's leaders have worked to pursue nuclear energy technology since the 1950s, spurred by the launch of U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower's Atoms for Peace program. It made steady progress, with Western help, through the early 1970s. But concern over Iranian intentions followed by the upheaval of the Islamic Revolution in 1979 effectively ended outside assistance. Iran was known to be reviving its civilian nuclear programs during the 1990s, but revelations in 2002 and 2003 of clandestine research into fuel enrichment and conversion raised international concern that Iran's ambitions had metastasized beyond peaceful intent. Although Iran has consistently denied allegations it seeks to develop a bomb, the September 2009 revelation of a second uranium enrichment facility near the holy city of Qom -constructed under the radar of international inspectors - deepened suspicion surrounding Iran's nuclear ambitions.

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