World powers and Iran have agreed to start implementing in late January an agreement obliging Tehran to suspend its most sensitive nuclear work, an Iranian official was quoted as saying on Tuesday. The reported agreement follows nearly 23 hours of talks between nuclear experts from Iran and the six powers held in Geneva on Monday and Tuesday. The seven countries have met several times since striking the breakthrough accord on Nov. 24 to iron out practical details and decide when the deal would be implemented. An Iranian nuclear negotiator, Hamid Baeidinejad, said a date was agreed on Tuesday.
"Based on the conclusions [reached in] the talks held with ...expert delegations, the implementation of the Geneva accord will start in the third ten-day of January," Baeidinejad was quoted as saying by Iranian Press TV.
"The two sides managed to reach an understanding on the implementation of the agreement and now, their views and interpretations are the same," he said.
The EU and British and U.S. governments indicated, however, work remains to be done on how to implement the November accord.
Michael Mann, a spokesman for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, said the experts would report back to their capitals and contacts would continue to "finalise a common understanding of implementation".
He declined comment on Iran's assertion that there was an agreement on the timetable for implementing the accord.
In Washington, State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said progress was made in the talks and the sides "expect to finalize the implementation plan soon."
A senior U.S. administration official said an agreement was close.