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Iran cites difficult differences at talks

on November 21, 2013 10:10 AM

GENEVA (AP) — Talks on a draft deal meant to start a rollback of Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief were delayed today, with a senior Iranian envoy suggesting that the momentum characterizing much of a previous round had been slowed.

Negotiators from Iran and six world powers parted on Nov. 10 saying that an agreement was within reach, even after added complications posed by a toughened position from France.

But a negotiating round scheduled for this morning was postponed in a favor of a meeting between Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and the European Union’s top diplomat, Catherine Ashton.

That and comments from Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi indicated that the two sides were pausing to take stock.

Speaking of an unspecified “misunderstanding or ... mismanagement in the previous round,” he said “serious negotiations” had not yet started on a draft text meant to outline the contours of any first-step deal.

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