The meeting will be held at the level of experts who are to review the implementation of the agreements reached in Geneva in late November.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said the deal reached in Geneva showed that world powers had recognised Tehran’s “nuclear rights” and noted that Iran was ready to start talks on a comprehensive nuclear agreement immediately.
“Constructive engagement, tireless efforts by negotiating teams are to open new horizons,” Rouhani said shortly after the announcement.
After the deal was signed, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Seyed Abbas Araghchi wrote on Twitter that Iran’s enrichment rights had been recognised in the negotiations.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov confirmed this by saying that “the agreement means that we have agreed with the need to recognise Iran’s right for peaceful nuclear energy, including the right for enrichment under the condition that all questions that remain unsettled with regard to the Iranian nuclear programme will be resolved and the whole programme will be placed under the strictest control of the International Atomic Energy Agency. This is the final goal, but it is already fixed in today's document.”
However, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry disagreed with his Russian colleague and made it clear that the deal did not recognize Iran’s right to nuclear enrichment. “The first step, let me be clear, does not say that Iran has a right to enrich uranium,” Kerry said.
U.S. President Barack Obama welcomed the nuclear deal with Iran and said the agreement had “halted” and “rolled back” Iran’s nuclear programme to ensure it remained peaceful.
“While today’s announcement is just a first step, it achieves a great deal. For the first time in nearly a decade, we have halted the progress of the Iranian nuclear program, and key parts of the programme will be rolled back,” Obama said.
He said that the possibility of an agreement had opened up after the U.S. and the U.N. imposed “unprecedented sanctions on the Iranian government.”
Iran’s chief negotiator, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said the deal was a “major success” and pledged that Tehran would expand its cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
He said that the main result of the talks between the P5+1 and Iran should be full lifting of sanctions on Iran.
“We think that the sanctions are counterproductive and are not consistent with international law. Eventually, all international sanctions, including those imposed by the U.N. decision, should be lifted,” Zarif said.
He said he was hopeful for further progress in this direction in a short period of time.
However, Obama said that the most important sanctions against Iran would remain in force and that the concessions given to Tehran could easily be retracted.
Moscow said it would also continue to convince its partners that further pressure or sanctions against Iran would only lead to a deadlock, and stressed that “the threat of force should be ruled out completely”.
“We appreciate the statements made by the new Iranian leadership regarding its intention to make the Iranian nuclear programme more transparent and look for ways to resolve disagreements. However this should not be done unilaterally but should be accompanied by steps to lift the sanctions, primarily unilateral sanctions, which were imposed by Western and some other countries in violation of their obligations under U.N. Security Council resolutions,” Lavrov said.
Lavrov noted that Russia recognised Iran’s right to the peaceful use of nuclear energy, including the right to enrich uranium to 20 percent under the control of the International Atomic Energy Agency.
“We are convinced that if our position were supported by all other parties to the talks with Tehran, we could hope for greater and better progress,” the minister said.
Until the Geneva deal, Iranian talks had long been in limbo with the United States and its Western allies suspecting Tehran of harbouring secret plans to create nuclear weapons and imposed economic sanctions against the country, and the Iranian government insisting that it only wanted to build nuclear power plants.
Kerry said during his visit to Cairo on November 3 that “the United States is deeply engaged with the P5+1, in the guarantees that Iran will not get a nuclear weapon.”
“That is a promise by the President of the United States,” he stressed.
However, Zarif repeatedly pointed out that “the Iranian nuclear programme is purely peaceful and we will convince everybody of that.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed hope that the international community would soon reach new agreements and results in the talks on the Iranian nuclear programme.
“We hope very much that the international community and the parties to this process will soon be able to reach new agreements on further work and new results,” Putin said.
He believes that necessary conditions have been created for that.
The president welcomed the agreements on the Iranian nuclear programme reached by Tehran and the P5+1 (five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council and Germany) in Geneva in November.
“These agreements are largely based on the Russian proposals. We have always believed that this complex issue should be solved on the basis of principles and rules set out in international law, while giving Iran the right to develop nuclear energy programmes for peaceful uses but at the same time ensuring the security of all countries in the region,” Putin said.
He stressed that this was only the first stage and it would be necessary move further.
The P5+1 is a group of countries which in 2006 joined the diplomatic efforts with Iran in regard to its nuclear program. The term refers to the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, namely the United States, Russia, China, United Kingdom, France, and Germany.