Next round of P5+1 talks with Iran about to start in Geneva

The next full-fledged round of negotiations between the P5+1 (the UN Security Council's five permanent members plus Germany) and Iranian officials is due to take place in Geneva on November 7-8.

The next full-fledged round of negotiations between the P5+1 (the UN Security Council's five permanent members plus Germany) and Iranian officials is due to take place in Geneva on November 7-8.

The P5+1 delegation to the event will be headed by EU Foreign Policy Chief Baroness Catherine Ashton. Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov will lead Russia's delegation to the talks. Foreign Minister Javad Zarif will take part in the talks on behalf of Iran.

Zarif said ahead of the meeting that it would not be a catastrophe if this round of negotiations did not produce a breakthrough.

Zarif also said that this week Tehran might conclude a framework agreement with the P5+1 on the Iranian nuclear program. He denied any need to set a deadline for reaching this accord.

Geneva hosted the previous full-fledged round of talks between the P5+1 and Iran on October 15-16. The event involved the political directors of the P5+1 and Iran, Zarif and Ashton. Negotiations focused on Tehran's new plan for tackling the Iranian nuclear problem.

Iranian officials believe that this plan should lead to the lifting of international sanctions against Iran and the recognition of its right to civilian uranium enrichment technologies.

The Iranian delegation also said that it was ready to discuss the volume and extent of the country's uranium enrichment program because the international community demands that Iran stop producing 20 percent enriched uranium.

Sources familiar with the situation told Interfax that Iran had announced its readiness to dispose of any excess amounts of enriched uranium, but only if it was done on its territory.

The sides described the October meeting as important and promising.

However, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Ryabkov said, "There is no cause for applause. It would have been possible to work better."

The issue of gradually lifting sanctions that were earlier imposed on Iran remains the greatest challenge, he said.

Ryabkov also welcomed the new plan submitted by the Iranian delegation.

P5+1 experts met in Vienna on October 30-31 to lay the groundwork for the November 7-8 full-fledged round.

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