Iran, US go face-to-face in crunch nuclear talks

International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors (2nd and 3rd left) and Iranian technicians disconnect connections between twin cascades for 20% uranium production at the Natanz nuclear site south of Tehran on January, 20, 2014Iran and the US held one-on-one talks Wednesday as a deadline loomed to reach a mammoth nuclear deal, seeking common ground on the two crucial remaining issues: uranium enrichment and sanctions relief. US Secretary of State John Kerry and other foreign ministers from the six powers meanwhile decided to hold off for at least another 24 hours joining the final round of negotiations before Monday’s cut-off point. Kerry remained in London before talks in Paris Thursday with the foreign ministers of France — widely seen as one of the six powers with the toughest stance on Iran — and of Saudi Arabia, itself no friend of Iran. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, whose country is a crucial player in the talks, will only attend if there is sufficient progress, Moscow’s lead negotiator Sergei Ryabkov told Russian media.

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