Talks over Iran's nuclear programme progressing slowly, says Tehran's foreign minister

PUBLISHED : Monday, 23 December, 2013, 5:04am
UPDATED : Monday, 23 December, 2013, 5:04am


Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif yesterday said nuclear talks with world powers were progressing slowly and urged all sides to avoid "troublesome" issues.

Zarif also agreed with EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton that the technical talks on how to implement a landmark nuclear deal would resume after the Christmas holidays, media reported.

Zarif and Ashton made the decision during a telephone call to discuss the expert-level talks that began on Thursday between Iran and delegates from the six major powers known as the P5+1.

The negotiations, which are aimed at setting a framework and a timeline for the nuclear accord clinched last month, stretched into a fourth day in Geneva yesterday.

ISNA news agency said Zarif and Ashton discussed the latest developments at the talks and agreed they would resume after the Christmas break. It provided no further details.

But at a joint news conference with visiting Italian Foreign Minister Emma Bonino, Zarif said little progress had been made during the talks in the Swiss city.

"The talks on implementing the accord are not easy. They are progressing, but slowly," he said.

"I hope all sides will avoid delving into issues that could become troublesome and complicate the process," Zarif added, without elaborating.

Iranian chief negotiator Abbas Araqchi earlier told ISNA that Zarif would talk to Ashton about "serious differences" on how to implement the nuclear deal.