Iran invites EU's Ashton to visit
Published Saturday 11/01/2014 18:51
The Foreign Minister of Iran, Mohammad Javad Zarif, speaks during a
press conference in Istanbul on Jan. 4, 2014 (AFP/File Ozan Kose)
TEHRAN (AFP) -- Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has invited EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton to visit the Islamic Republic, Mehr news agency cited his deputy as saying on Saturday.
"Ashton has received an open invitation from Zarif to travel to Iran whenever she wants," Abbas Araqchi, the deputy negotiator in talks on Iran's disputed nuclear program, said without giving any dates for the proposed trip.
Iran and world powers agreed Friday on how to implement a landmark deal on containing Tehran's nuclear program, but it must still be approved by each country before it can take effect.
"The negotiations were carried out in the atmosphere of mutual understanding and we found solutions for all the three points of disagreement, but the capitals should decide whether they accept or reject the solutions," said Araqchi.
Under the deal clinched in November, Tehran agreed to curb parts of its nuclear drive for six months in exchange for receiving modest relief from international sanctions and a promise by Western powers not to impose new measures against its hard-hit economy.
Two days of talks between high-level Iranian and EU negotiators ended in Geneva Friday with "very good progress on all the pertinent issues," said Michael Mann, a spokesman for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton.
Ashton represents the so-called P5+1 group of world powers -- Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States -- in the decade-long nuclear negotiations with Iran.