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World powers hold high-level talks with Iran

World powers hold high-level talks with Iran

Washington: Iran and six world powers - the US, Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany, also called G5+1 group - held ministerial level talks in New York Thursday, IRNA reported.

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif met US Secretary of State John Kerry. Diplomats from the P5+1 group - China, Russia, Britain, France and Germany - were also present at the talks.

The meeting which was held behind closed doors took about 30 minutes. Following the meeting, head of G5+1 and European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said that there would be another meeting in next month.

She also said that 12 months would be an appropriate time for resolving the Iranian nuclear issue and termed the brief New York talks as positive.

Emerging from the meeting, Kerry expressed gratitude over the outcome of the G5+1 meeting with Iran, and said the Iranian foreign minister put new options on the negotiating table.

He said a lot of work needs to be done and that Iran would have to answer questions about its nuclear programme.

Zarif said the discussions were "substantive" and that he hoped the issue would be resolved in a timely fashion and in a way that addresses both the needs of the Iranian people and the concerns of the international community.

The question is, he added, whether positive words would bring serious deeds.

"I am satisfied with this first step," he said. "Now we have to see whether we can match our positive words with serious deeds so we can move forward."

Zarif said that Iran's nuclear programme was "peaceful" and pledged to prove it to the international community.

The Iranian foreign minister called sanctions against Iran "counterproductive" and added he hoped all sanctions would be lifted in the near future.

Iran has been negotiating over the nuclear issue since 2006 with the P5+1 - the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, plus Germany. During the course of previous talks, meetings were held at diplomatic levels.


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