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Talks between the E3+3 and Iran make some progress, but more time needed to negotiate a final, lasting deal.
The E3+3 (UK, US, Russia, China, France and Germany), led by the High Representative, Baroness Ashton, today agreed with Iran an extension to the interim agreement. Talks will now continue until 24 November 2014.
Commenting today, the Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said:
While some progress has been made in negotiations between the E3+3 and Iran over the last six months, more time is needed to bridge the gaps between the two sides. There are still significant differences on how to address major issues of concern, particularly the scale and scope of Iran’s enrichment programme. We are clear that these negotiations are the best opportunity we’ve had in years to resolve this issue. We will take the time needed to make sure we have tested to the full the chance to reach an agreement. But Iran needs to adopt a more realistic approach if we are to achieve this.
A final and lasting deal would address the international community’s serious concerns that Iran could build a nuclear weapon, and would enable Iran to enjoy the peaceful use of nuclear energy. It has the potential radically to change the outlook for Iran’s economy and its people.
British diplomats will continue to work closely with partners over the next four months, during which time the interim deal will remain in place.
Notes to editors:
- We have agreed that during this limited period, both sides will continue all measures agreed under the Geneva interim deal that have not expired. In addition to these measures, Iran has committed to convert an agreed amount of uranium oxide into fuel for the Tehran Research Reactor and to dilute all of its UF6 enriched up to 2% into natural uranium. In return, the E3+3 has committed to enable the repatriation of $2.8 billion in instalments over the course of the 4 month extension period. The IAEA will continue to be responsible for verification of all nuclear-related measures.
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