By Alessandra Esguerra,
International News Assistant Editor
Six world powers and Iran came to an agreement on the framework for negotiations over Iran’s controversial nuclear program on Thursday in Vienna, Austria, according to the European Union’s foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton.
Over three days of meetings that started last Tuesday, Ashton stated, “We have identified all of the issues we need to address in reaching a comprehensive and final agreement.”
The meetings included the P5+1, who consist of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council—the United States, China, Russia, Great Britain, France, and Germany—and Germany, and Iran.
In the agreement, both sides have set a timetable for meetings—technical experts are to meet in early March and the P5+1 and Iran are to meet on March 17—over the next months, in addition to the framework for further deliberations.
Although much of the meeting’s issues were kept confidential, a senior American official, who wished to remain anonymous discussed some of the concerns to be brought up in the meetings between technical experts.
Among the concerns were uranium enrichment and various projects conducted Iran, including the heavy-water reactor project, its ballistic missile program, and any nuclear military research.
The agreement comes after a November interim deal which, maintained that Iran would roll back parts of its nuclear program, in return for some relief from the sanctions that have crippled its economy.
However, the deal is valid from January to July, bringing about a challenge for negotiators to quickly come to a permanent deal acceptable for all sides.
Unfortunately, coming to a deal will not be easy. The P5+1 are looking for Iran to scale backs its nuclear activities permanently, in order to prevent Iran from assembling a fully-functioning nuclear weapon.
On the other hand, Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi of Iran has said the “halting of Iran’s [nuclear] program and dismantling Iran’s nuclear facilities are not on the agenda,” as reported by the Mehr news agency.
A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, Feb. 25 print edition.
Contact Alessandra Esguerra at