New talks on Iran nuclear deal to open in Geneva
New talks on Iran nuclear deal to open in Geneva

Iran and world powers were set for new talks today on how to implement a landmark deal aimed at containing Tehran's nuclear drive, just days before the agreement is due to take effect.

Russian President "Vladimir Putin" and his Iranian counterpart "Hassan Rouhani" discussed the November accord in a phone conversation Thursday shortly before the opening of the negotiations in Geneva.

The Kremlin said Putin and Rouhani discussed a range of issues, including "the implementation of agreements on the Iranian nuclear programme".

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad "Javad Zarif" has voiced optimism about the talks but some observers have warned of possible sticking points that could lead to a delay in rolling out the deal.

Iranian, EU and US negotiators are gathering in Geneva for their highest-level talks since hammering out the groundbreaking November 24 deal aimed at reining in Tehran's nuclear ambitions. Negotiators have said they aim to implement the deal - which also offers Iran some sanctions relief - by January 20.

The European Union, which represents the so-called P5+1 group of world powers - Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States plus Germany – hasn't even divulged where in Geneva the meeting is taking place.

In the November deal, Iran agreed to curb parts of its nuclear drive for six months in exchange for receiving modest relief from international sanctions and a promise by Western powers not to impose new measures against its hard-hit economy.

Technical experts from Iran and the P5+1 have since held several sessions in Geneva aimed at fine-tuning the deal.

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