U.S., Iran to discuss resolving issues after talks on nuclear program

GENEVA –– Senior U.S. and Iranian officials met in Geneva on Monday to negotiate the details of a deal that would end the international standoff over Tehran’s nuclear program, paving the way for talks over the Islamic Republic’s controversial ballistic missile program.

Following more than five hours of talks, Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator, Saeed Jalili, announced that Iran’s negotiators had agreed to return to talks in Vienna with their American counterparts before the end of November to discuss the negotiations on Iran’s ballistic missiles, the Associated Press reported.

Jalili, who had promised to return to Geneva after the end of Ramadan, and International Atomic Energy Agency Deputy Director General Herman Nackaerts had been the most senior Iranian officials to meet their American counterparts since the two sides set up the talks in April.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said last week that he hoped to complete a deal by November, his country’s presidential term ending in May 2017.

The next meeting is scheduled for Oct. 14. The U.S. delegation will be led by Undersecretary of State Wendy Sherman, the lead U.S. negotiator, as well as Reza Najafi, the head of the American negotiating team.

The proposed talks on Iran’s ballistic missiles are subject to some changes, Iran’s state-run media outlets reported. The report cited Jalili as saying that ballistic missiles will not be the primary issue. The talks will not focus solely on Iran’s ballistic missiles but “issues such as long-range missiles, stealth technology, transparency and verification,” Jalili said.

The sides have not agreed to eliminate all weapons completely, the English-language Press TV reported, as the U.S. proposal called for the creation of a jointly-operated third party nuclear monitoring center to confirm that Iran is no longer pursuing “nuclear weaponry.”

Jalili said Tehran’s uranium stockpile will be transferred abroad for conversion to an alloy used for construction in “peaceful purposes.” The U.S. government has also discussed allowing Iran to further enrich uranium up to 20 percent, according to Jalili, Press TV reported.

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