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Iran hopes to resume n-talks `soon`

Iran hopes to resume expert-level nuclear talks with world powers in the near future, an Iranian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said on Tuesday.

Tehran: Iran hopes to resume expert-level nuclear talks with world powers in the near future, an Iranian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said on Tuesday.

"Timing (for resumption of the talks) should be agreed by both sides, and we hope the expert-level negotiation will begin in the near future," Xinhua quoted Marzieh Afkham as telling reporters at her weekly press briefing.

Following the recent telephone conversation between the US secretary of state and the Iranian foreign minister, and the ongoing meeting of Iran`s nuclear negotiator and the European Union`s (EU) foreign policy chief, there are hopes of an agreement on the resumption of expert-level talks, Afkham said.

Last Thursday, local media reported that Iran`s expert-level nuclear negotiating team halted talks with P5+1 - US, Britain, France, Russia and China plus Germany - in Vienna, which had started Dec 9, for further consultations with Iranian officials.

According to the media, the Iranian team stopped the talks in response to the US`s blacklisting of additional companies and individuals for evading existing sanctions against Iran.

The expert-level meetings between Iran and the representatives of world powers are aimed at developing mechanisms for implementing the interim deal signed between Iran and the P5+1 group.

Iran and the P5+1 group had struck a deal in Geneva Nov 24 in which Iran agreed to freeze part of its nuclear programme in exchange for limited easing of sanctions which are hurting its economy.

Afkham also expressed the hope Tuesday that these meetings will lead to high-level meetings for further agreements.

In addition, Afkham welcomed the EU`s recent consideration of suspending its sanctions against Iran.

EU foreign ministers Monday said in a statement that the bloc was committed to taking necessary steps to suspend the sanctions immediately after the International Atomic Energy Agency verified the implementation of the nuclear-related measures by Iran, and on the basis of recommendation by EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton.

"The overall spirit of the EU statement is useful and constructive," Afkham said, adding that "we hope to witness the implementation of it in practice".

"We evaluate the EU statement as a sign of readiness for taking the first step," she maintained.

"Any new sanctions against Iran means the death of (Geneva) deal and the joint plan of action," Afkham warned.

From Zee News

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