TEHRAN, Dec. 11 (UPI) -- The next round of Iranian nuclear negotiations will begin Dec. 17, Iran's chief nuclear negotiator and deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi announced Thursday.
After the Nov. 24 deadline to reach a comprehensive nuclear agreement with Iran expired, international negotiators vowed to continue the talks for an additional seven months.
Delegates from Iran and the the P5+1 -- the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council (Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States) plus Germany -- have been in engaged in year-long negotiations. The November extension marks the second time the deadline has been moved. In July, Iran and the P5+1 countries decided to extend the talks for an additional four months.
The next round, Araghchi said, will be held in Geneva at the deputy foreign minister level. In an interview with the state-run Islamic Republic News Agency, Araghchi said that Iran would participate in preliminary meetings with P5+1 representatives beginning Dec. 15.
"We keep on negotiating with good will and hoping to reach a mutually agreed solution as soon as possible," Reza Najafi, Iranian Ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency, said in a statement to the IAEA Board of Governors on Thursday.
"A mutually agreed final agreement would be possible if all parties reciprocally respect their rights and responsibilities and enter into finishing phase of negotiations in good faith. Negotiations in last several months have made a good and substantive progress and a lasting solution is closer to us than ever. A long-term comprehensive solution," Najafi said, "should enable Iran to continue exercising its inalienable rights under the NPT [Non-Proliferation Treaty]."