Final Round of Iran Nuclear Talks in Vienna Resumed

DSC_90033Iran and six world powers namely the United States, France, Germany, China, Russia and Britain resumed the sixth round of talks on Thursday in Vienna. The EU’s foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton is leading the negotiations on the part of the P5+1 group. Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif heads the Iranian delegation

The deadline for a deal expires on 20 July, although this could be extended if an agreement is not made in time. The negotiators have less than three weeks to try to agree on the future dimensions of Iran’s uranium enrichment programme. Iranian officials have suggested that the deadline could be extended for another six months to allow negotiations to continue. Western officials privately acknowledge that an extension of the talks might be needed.

The powers want Iran to scale back enrichment capacity sharply to deny it any capability to quickly accumulate enough fissile material for a nuclear bomb.
Iran insists it is enriching uranium to fuel power plants, and wants international sanctions to end. But differences reportedly remain over how much uranium enrichment capacity Iran should be allowed to keep.

Both sides are hoping to build on an interim deal agreed in Geneva in November that saw Iran curb enrichment in return for sanctions relief.

EU Court Strikes Down Iran Asset Freeze Sanctions

On the other hand, the EU General court at Luxembourg ruled on Thursday that sanctions placed on the Iranian university because of alleged links with the nuclear programme were invalid because of a lack of evidence.

According to the Court, the bans placed by the European Union on Iran’s Sharif University of Technology cannot be upheld due to insufficient proof that it had allegedly been involved with the country’s nuclear energy program.

“The General Court considers that the EU Council committed a manifest error of assessment and failed to discharge the burden of proof which rests on it,” the court said in a news release.

In September 2013, the EU General Court annulled a series of asset freeze sanctions imposed by the Council of the European Union on a number of Iranian entities and one person. The General Court requires the EU regulators to adduce stronger evidence to justify the imposition of sanctions. Failure to do so risks undermining the European Union’s efforts to constrain Iran’s alleged efforts to develop its nuclear and missile programme. Read more.


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