Ashton & Zarif

Talks have concluded between Iran and the 5+1 with both sides expressing satisfaction with the progress and agreeing to continue negotiations in March.

Reuters reports that after three days of talks, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and Iranian Foreign Minister Mahammad Javad Zarif gave a joint statement on February 20, saying the talks will continue in Vienna on March 17 in a process that they predicted would take at least six months.

The Islamic Republic News Agency quoted the Iranian foreign minister saying: “Our aim is to reach an outcome in the shortest time possible and the consensus so far is six months.” He added that the nuclear issue is the only topic of discussion in these talks.

The interim deal reached in November between Iran and the 5+1 was implemented in January, allowing for some easing of sanctions as Iran suspended some parts of its nuclear program.