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US, Iran hold high-level meeting. 'Substantive' nuclear talks ahead?

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“We’ve agreed to try to continue the process,” Kerry said of his “side meeting” with Zarif. He described the Iranian minister’s presentation to the so-called P5+1 powers as "very different in tone and very different in the vision that he held out with respect to possibilities of the future."

 

A smiling Zarif made quick mention of his “short bilateral” meeting with Kerry. Eschewing the more typical combative and accusatory tone of Iran’s diplomatic language over past decades – particularly in reference to the US – Zarif said, “Now we [all] have to see if we can match our positive words with serious deeds.”

The six countries agreed to meet in Geneva on Oct. 15-16 for what would be the first talks on Iran’s nuclear program since April. Those meetings, in Almaty, Kazakhstan, ended without Iran even responding to negotiation starting points proposed by the European Union’s chief diplomat, Catherine Ashton.

Lady Ashton, who chaired Thursday’s meeting, echoed other officials in describing a totally different atmosphere in the discussions with Zarif. “To have the Iranian minister openly talk was a positive change in itself,” she said.

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