Iran, six world powers starting talks in Vienna

Iran, six world powers starting talks in Vienna

PanARMENIAN.Net - Iran and six world powers are starting the first round of talks on a long-term agreement on Tehran's controversial nuclear program, BBC News reports.

The talks in Vienna aim to build on November's interim deal, in which Iran agreed to curb uranium enrichment in return for partial sanctions relief.

Ahead of the meeting, both Iran and the U.S. downplayed hopes of a quick breakthrough.

The talks between Iran and Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the U.S. are due to open Tuesday, Feb 18, at 11:00 (10:00 GMT) in the Austrian capital.

The West wants Iran to sharply scale back its sensitive nuclear activities to ensure that it cannot quickly assemble an atomic bomb. But Tehran says its nuclear work is purely peaceful and will continue. It also wants an end to the sanctions that have battered its economy.

It took months of very hard bargaining for the two sides to agree to negotiate a final deal. The talk will be a first test of that resolve, the BBC says.

On Monday, Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said the Vienna talks "will not lead anywhere", in a statement posted on his website. But he added: "What our officials started will continue. We will not renege. I have no opposition."

Meanwhile, a senior U.S. administration official, according to Reuters, also acknowledged that it would be a "complicated, difficult and lengthy process".

The two sides have until July 19 to find a comprehensive solution.

 Top stories
The team said they had also been barred from completing work at some sites to which they had been initially admitted.
"The terrorist organization Islamic State is a threat to public safety in Germany as well," said Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere.
Until recently, India had largely seen itself as beyond the recruiting territory of international jihadists like al Qaeda.
The political leader of Iraq's Kurds earlier appealed for international military aid to help defeat the Islamist militants.
Partner news
Soghomon Tehlirian assassinated Talaat Pasha on March 15, 1921

Operation Nemesis was a covert operation by the Armenian Revolutionary Federation carried out from 1920 to 1922, during which a number of former Ottoman political and military figures were assassinated for their role in the Armenian Genocide.