Kerry to meet with Iranian foreign minister over nuclear program

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (in center, left side) prepares to sit down with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (in center, right side) in Vienna, Austria, on July 14, 2014, before they begin a bilateral meeting focused on Iran's nuclear program. Credit: State Department.

( U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will meet with his Iranian counterpart on Jan. 14 in Geneva to discuss Iran’s nuclear program ahead of a new round of talks between Iran and world powers, U.S. officials said Friday.

According to State Department officials, Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif are meeting “to provide guidance to their negotiating teams before their next round of discussions,” Reuters reported. 

Iran and the P5+1 nations (U.S., U.K., France, Russia, China, and Germany) are set to start low-level talks on Jan. 15 in Geneva.

The original interim deal between Iran and the P5+1 was signed in November 2013 and led to an easing of some sanctions on Iran. The interim deal was meant to allow for further negotiations to produce a final framework, but the deadline for that framework has been repeatedly pushed back, most recently getting extended by seven months last November.

Talks between Iran and the P5+1 have been stalled for some time, largely over differences regarding Iran’s ability to enrich uranium and the lifting of Western-imposed sanctions on the Islamic Republic. World powers want to severely curtail enrichment capability or have enriched fuel sent abroad for processing, while Iran wants to retain its ability to enrich uranium.

Posted on January 9, 2015 .