Date
20 November 2017
US Secretary of State John Kerry (L) and Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Jawad Zarif (C) gesture as they arrive to resume nuclear negotiations in Montreux in a March 2 file photo. Credit: Reuters
US Secretary of State John Kerry (L) and Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Jawad Zarif (C) gesture as they arrive to resume nuclear negotiations in Montreux in a March 2 file photo. Credit: Reuters

Talks underway on ending UN sanctions on Iran: Reuters

Major world powers have quietly begun talks on a UN Security Council resolution to lift sanctions on Iran if a nuclear agreement is struck, Reuters reported on Thursday.

Britain, China, France, Russia and the US — the five permanent members of the Security Council — along with Germany are holding talks with Iran ahead of negotiations that resume next week over curbing Iran’s nuclear ability, the report said.

Iran and the six powers are aiming to complete the framework of a nuclear deal by the end of March, and achieve a full agreement by June 30.

So far, those talks have focused on separate US and European Union sanctions on Iran’s energy and financial sectors, which Tehran desperately wants removed. The sanctions question is a sticking point in the talks that resume next week in Lausanne, Switzerland, between Iran and the six powers.

But Western officials involved in the negotiations said they are also discussing elements to include in a draft resolution for the 15-nation Security Council to begin easing UN nuclear-related sanctions that have been in place since December 2006, the report said.

“If there’s a nuclear deal, and that’s still a big ‘if’, we’ll want to move quickly on the UN sanctions issue,” an official was quoted as saying.

The negotiations are taking place at senior foreign ministry level at the six powers and Iran, and not at the United Nations in New York, according to the report.

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RC

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