John Kerry to meet Iran Foreign Minister in Munich for nuclear talks

February 6, 2015 1:34 pm
Kerry is in Germany to take part along with U.S. Vice President Joe
Biden in the annual Munich Security Conference which this year will
focus on the “collapse of the global order.”

Government leaders
from around the world will discuss the conflict in Ukraine as well as
the war in Syria, the threat from Islamist militants as well as other
crises from Ebola to refugees.

On Saturday, Kerry is due to
meet his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov for talks focusing on Syria,
Ukraine and the Iranian nuclear program.

 U.S. Secretary of State shakes hands with Iranian Foreign
Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif before a meeting in Geneva January 14,
2015. (Reuters)

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry was to meet his Iranian counterpart
Friday on the sidelines of security talks in Munich, as a late March
deadline looms for a framework nuclear deal.

Kerry arrived in
southern Germany late Thursday, flying in from Kiev where he met
Ukrainian leaders amid a fresh diplomatic drive to end the deadly
conflict in eastern Ukraine.

Initially the State Department had
said the top U.S. diplomat would meet on Saturday in the Bavarian city
with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

But
spokeswoman Jen Psaki confirmed to AFP the talks would be Friday and the
two diplomats would “discuss the ongoing nuclear talks.”

Global powers have been struggling for more than a year to pin down a
comprehensive deal to rein in ’s suspect nuclear program, after an
interim accord was struck in November 2013.

After missing two
previous deadlines, the group known as the P5+1 — Britain, China,
France, Germany, Russia, and the — have set a March 31
deadline for a political agreement.

That would be followed by a final deal setting out all the technical points of what will be a complex accord due by June 30.

But the atmosphere has been complicated by hardliners both in Iran and
the United States, with US lawmakers threatening to impose new sanctions
on Iran if the March deadline is missed.

So far, Iran has frozen its nuclear enrichment program in return for limited sanctions relief.

But in a fresh sign of the tensions, Iran’s President Hassan Rowhani
berated the world’s nuclear powers on Wednesday, saying atomic weapons
had not kept them safe and reiterating that his country was not seeking
the bomb.

He avoided explicit mention of the ongoing nuclear talks but accused atomic-armed states of hypocrisy.

“They tell us ‘we don’t want Iran to make atomic bombs’, you who have made atomic bombs,” Rowhani said.

Kerry is in Germany to take part along with U.S. Vice President Joe
Biden in the annual Munich Security Conference which this year will
focus on the “collapse of the global order.”

Government leaders
from around the world will discuss the conflict in Ukraine as well as
the war in Syria, the threat from Islamist militants as well as other
crises from Ebola to refugees.

On Saturday, Kerry is due to
meet his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov for talks focusing on Syria,
Ukraine and the Iranian nuclear program.

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