Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, US Secretary of State John Kerry and European Union envoy Catherine Ashton have met in the Austrian capital, Vienna, to discuss the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program.
The trilateral meeting was organized on Thursday after talks in Vienna between Iran and the P5+1 countries – the US, France, Britain, Russia, China and Germany.
The talks in Vienna are aimed to work out a final deal ending the longstanding standoff over the Islamic Republic’s nuclear energy program before a November 24 deadline.
The Iranian foreign minister is scheduled to meet his French counterpart Laurent Fabius and British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond in Vienna on Friday.
Before his trip to Vienna, Kerry paid a visit to the French capital, Paris, where he met with foreign ministers of France and Saudi Arabia.
In a joint appearance before reporters, Kerry and Fabius expressed hope that progress could be made but acknowledged that some obstacles remained in the way of an accord.
“We hope that the gaps that exist — and they do exist — can be closed,” Kerry said.
Iran and the P5+1 group continued their talks in Vienna on Thursday to work out a final deal aimed at ending the longstanding standoff over the Islamic Republic’s nuclear energy program before the November 24 deadline.
Sources close to the Iranian negotiating team say the main stumbling block in the way of resolving the Western dispute over Iran’s nuclear energy program remains to be the removal of all the bans imposed on the country, and not the number of centrifuges or the level of uranium enrichment.
Tehran wants the sanctions entirely lifted while Washington, under pressure from the pro-Israeli lobby, insists that at least the UN-imposed sanctions should remain in place.