Iran to hold ‘high-level’ talks with EU

ANKARA: Iran and the European Union have agreed to start talks on various issues such as confronting terrorism, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told a joint news conference with the EU’s chief diplomat, Federica Mogherini, in Tehran on Tuesday.The European Union’s Foreign Policy chief arrived in Tehran on Tuesday to discuss implementation of an agreement between for Iran to curtail its nuclear programme in return for lifting sanctions against the country, state TV reported.“We have agreed to hold high-level talks between Iran and the European Union over different issues, including energy cooperation … human rights, confronting terrorism and regional issues,” Zarif said after meeting Mogherini.The agreement was reached on July 14 in Vienna between Iran and the United States, France, Russia, China, Britain and Germany. It is intended to end more than a decade-old standoff over the disputed nuclear programme.After the terms of the agreement were settled, Iran’s most powerful authority, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said Tehran had no intention of halting its backing for its regional allies, including the Lebanese Hezbollah, Syria’s government and Shias in Bahrain and Yemen. The United States designates both Iran and Syria as “state sponsors of terrorism.” It also designates Hezbollah a “terrorist organisation.”Mogherini said the implementing the agreement “depends on political will, commitment and patience of all parties involved”, adding: “The deal has the capacity to pave the ground for wider cooperation between Iran and the West.”

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