Talks between Iran and the EU have ended with an agreement on all the outstanding issues that threatened to roadblock a nuclear agreement. Negotiators now hope the deal can be finalized by January 20.
"We found solutions for all the points of disagreement," Iran's deputy chief nuclear negotiator Abbas Araqchi told Iranian state-run TV Friday after two days of talks in Geneva.
"We had two days of good, constructive and intense negotiations in which we made good progress," he said adding that the implementation of the deal reached in Geneva in November now depends on the final ratification of negotiating delegations and their governments.
The six major powers involved in the talks, known as the P5+1, include the United States, China, Russia, Britain, France and Germany. They were represented at the talks by the EU's deputy chief Helga Schmid.
EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton's spokesperson, Michael Mann, said both sides "made very good progress on all the pertinent issues," adding, "This is now under validation at [the] political level in capitals," he added.
Negotiators said they want to implement the groundbreaking deal by January 20.
Crippling Western sanctions and the election of a new, more moderate Iranian president shifted the country's foreign policy toward the West during 2013. As a result, Tehran has agreed to rein in its nuclear program in exchange for a rollback of the crippling economic sanctions that it is expected might garner the Iranian economy some $7 billion (5.2 billion euros).
However, Iran has repeatedly dismissed Western fears that it seeks to build nuclear weapons, and contends it wants to use its nuclear capabilities for generating electricity.
hc/kms (Reuters, AFP, AP)
The German Cup semifinal against Bayern Munich has put Bundesliga's second-division club Kaiserslautern back in the public eye. They have a long history - and a firm place in the hearts and minds of German football fans.
Dortmund beat Wolfsburg already and Bayern Munich is the other clear favorite to reach the final. But Kaiserslautern, at least, could still throw a wrench in the works against the Bavarians.