Iran, six major powers start new round of nuclear talks

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Iran and six other major countries started a new round of talks towards a comprehensive agreement on its nuclear program at the United Nations headquarters in New York Friday.

There was a hiatus after Iran and the six major world powers, namely the United States, China, Russia, Britain, France, plus Germany, met in July. The talks are expected to last until Sept. 26.

"The six powers and Iran all showed willingness to reach the agreement as soon as possible," said Wang Min, chief negotiator of the Chinese delegation, before the talks started.

Other attendees for the negotiations also included EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad-Javad Zarif.

In July, Iran and the six countries agreed to extend negotiations over Iran's controversial nuclear program for another four months till Nov. 24 as they could not narrow down the significant gaps on core issues during the past six months.

An interim deal, which took effect on Jan. 20, was designed to buy time for negotiations. Under the deal, Iran would suspend some sensitive nuclear activities in exchange for a limited sanction relief.

Wang said the negotiation has entered "the final key stage" and urged all sides to cherish the present opportunity and push for " concrete progress" in this new round of talks.

The six world powers are working hard with Iran to find a comprehensive solution to put an end to Tehran's controversial nuclear program. The West wants Iran to significantly scale back its nuclear program to address the concern over its proliferation risk, while Iran insists its nuclear right is inalienable.

China believes that as long as all sides continue to uphold the principles of mutual benefit and win-win nature, be flexible and practical, accommodate each other's concerns and actively seek creative solutions to difficult issues, a comprehensive agreement can be achieved, said Wang, pledging that China will enhance communication and coordination with all parties and make its due contribution to achieving positive progress in the talks.

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