Iran, US hopeful on speeding up nuclear talks

SHAFAQNA- The United States and Iran are expressing hope that nuclear talks can be accelerated in order to meet a March target for a framework agreement, as the countries’ top diplomats met on Wednesday ahead of a resumption in full negotiations.

US Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif were meeting at a Geneva hotel a day before negotiators from Iran, the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany are to resume talks here.

Ahead of the meeting, Zarif said his talks with Kerry would show that both sides understand the importance of picking up the pace. “I think it’s important,” he told reporters. “I think it will show the readiness of the two parties to move forward to speed up the process.”

Zarif was coy when asked if he thought the deadline could be met and what particular issues were most vexing.

“We’ll see,” he said. “All issues are hard until you resolve them and all issues are easy if you resolve them,” he said. “I believe all of them are easy anyway.”

Kerry said earlier this week that he’s meeting Zarif to take stock of the negotiations.

“We are at a juncture where most of the issues are now getting fleshed out and understood,” he told reporters on Monday in India before he flew to Pakistan and then on to Switzerland. He said he hoped to be able to “accelerate the process to make greater progress”.

Source: AP

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