The Iranian Foreign Minister and the U.S. Secretary of State met briefly on the sidelines of Iran’s session with the 5+1 and both say their exchange was positive and useful.
Catherine Ashton, the head of EU Foreign Policy, also reported that the meeting was positive and said more substantive talks are now set for October 15 and 16.
This was the first time an Iranian foreign minister met his U.S. counterpart since diplomatic relations were cut off between the two countries more than 30 years ago.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told reporters he was pleased that the Iranian Foreign Minister “put possibilities on the table” but Kerry added that much work is still to be done.
Mohammad-Javad Zarif also called the talks constructive and said some progress was made in resolving the issues while respecting the rights of the Iranian people.
“I am satisfied with this first step. Now we have to see whether we can match our positive words with serious deeds so we can move forward,” he said.
Zarif stressed that Iran’s nuclear program was “nothing but peaceful” and he expressed hope that international sanctions against Iran will be lifted soon.
U.S. and EU unilateral sanctions on Iran have heavily restricted Iran’s international trade.