Iran and the United States have kicked off the fifth day of intensive talks in the Swiss city of Lausanne in an attempt to bridge differences on the outstanding issues pertaining to Tehran’s nuclear program.
The talks on Thursday are led by Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and US Secretary of State John Kerry.
Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Ali Akbar Salehi, Zarif’s deputies, Abbas Araqchi and Majid Takht-e Ravanchi, special assistant to Iran's president, Hossein Fereydoun, US Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman and European Union Deputy Foreign Policy Chief Helga Schmid are also present during the fifth day of nuclear talks.
Salehi and Moniz had held one-on-one talks earlier in the morning.
On Wednesday night, two separate meetings were held in the lakeside city; one between Zarif, Kerry, and the European Union deputy foreign policy chief, Helga Schmid, and another between Salehi and Moniz.
Zarif was accompanied by his deputies and Fereydoun, while Sherman joined Kerry during the talks.
On Wednesday morning, Salehi and Moniz opened a new round of high-level technical talks.
Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Ali Akbar Salehi (L) meets with US Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz in the Swiss city of Lausanne on March 18, 2015.
On Tuesday, Salehi said that Tehran and Washington had resolved their differences over 90 percent of the issues in the talks.
“We have reached mutual understanding on 90 percent of technical issues,” Salehi told IRIB news, adding that “there remains only a single sticking point, which is very important.”
The latest round of negotiations over the Iranian nuclear program kicked off in the Swiss city on Sunday with Salehi and Moniz holding high-level technical talks. Experts from Iran and the US as well as the AEOI spokesman, Behrouz Kamalvandi, also participated in the meeting.
Iran and the P5+1 countries – the United States, Britain, France, China, and Russia plus Germany – are seeking to seal a comprehensive nuclear deal by July 1. The two sides have already missed two self-imposed deadlines for inking a final agreement since they signed an interim accord in the Swiss city of Geneva in November 2013.