Low expectations as Iran n-talks enter second day

Vienna, May 15 (IANS): Iranian nuclear talks entered the second day Thursday amid low expectations of a breakthrough that could resolve a decade-long dispute over Tehran's nuclear programme.

Iran and the five permanent members of the United Nation Security Council (Britain, China, France, Russia, United States) plus Germany, have started drafting a deal to pave the way for a final agreement by July 20, Xinhua reported.

A US State Department official said Thursday "coordination and experts' meetings will resume and continue throughout the day."

Michael Mann, spokesperson of European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, said she held a bilateral meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

Key issues are reportedly unresolved as Iranian and Western officials said the talks were a "very difficult" diplomatic process.

Western states want Iran to significantly scale back its nuclear programme, especially its nuclear fuel production capability. 

If further developed, the nuclear fuel could be used to make nuclear weapons. Tehran has stated it would not bow to pressure and that Iran had the right to pursue its civilian nuclear program.

A Vienna diplomat close to the negotiations told Xinhua the talks until now had been "as difficult as foreseen".

Under a landmark deal made in Geneva in November last year, Iran suspended its most disputed nuclear activities when Western states offered to lift sanctions in return.

The current round of talks is expected to last till Friday. Zarif told local media that three more rounds of talks would take place till July 20.

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Title: Low expectations as Iran n-talks enter second day

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