Ashton & Zarif

A new round of talks between Iran and the world powers began today in Vienna with an eye to reaching a final deal to resolve the nuclear disputes with Iran.

The talks are underway among deputy foreign ministers from the United States, Britain, France, Russia, China, Germany and the EU.

Reports from Vienna indicate that EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif attended the opening of the session, and starting Tuesday afternoon, the talks are being led by their respective deputies, Helga Schmid and Abbas Araghchi.

Yesterday, the Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei expressed pessimism about the outcome of the talks, but the Iranian foreign minister stressed in Vienna: “If both sides enter the talks with good faith, political will and the goal of resolving the matter, we will reach a positive outcome.”

Meanwhile, U.S. officials have also said that reaching an ultimate agreement will not be easy.

Last November, Iran and the 5+1 reached an interim deal, which was implemented beginning last month, relieving some of the sanctions against Iran in exchange for a measure of reduction in Iran’s nuclear activities and greater access for IAEA inspectors.