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Iran Headlines: Round Four of Nuclear Talks in Vienna, Zarif and Ashton Dinner Meeting, Negotiators Urged to Use Caution

Foreign Minister of Iran Mohammad Javad Zarif reacts during a family photo session at the Caspian Sea littoral states conference in Moscow (REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov).

POLITICS

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei spoke to a group of supporters from the Ellam Province today and reiterated a line made famous by his predecessor Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. “To this day, America hasn’t been able to do a damn thing (to us)…the same goes for the other major powers, they too can’t do a damn thing. And not just militarily…socially they can’t do a damn thing (either),” said Khamenei. His personal website posted the text of his speech as well as a video clip

NUCLEAR

ISNA writes that Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif and his negotiating team landed in Vienna today for the latest round of nuclear talks with the P5+1 countries. Upon his arrival Zarif told reporters, “There is no draft (at the moment) but any type agreement must lift all of the sanctions, this is an integral part of a final agreement.”

In the reformist daily Etemaad, Ahmad Khorram, a former diplomat and minister of roads and transportation under former President Mohammad Khatami writes, “There are many complexities when writing a comprehensive agreement and Iran’s negotiators should take the time to carefully review them. These talks can pave the future of Iran's nuclear program, and even determine the country’s foreign policy.”

Fars News Agency posted a photo of Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif and European Union Foreign Policy chief Catherine Ashton during their dinner meeting tonight ahead of day one of the fourth round of nuclear talks scheduled for tomorrow morning.

Hard-line daily Kayhan highlights comments made by United States National Security Adviser Susan Rice who spoke at a gala in honor of Israel’s Independence Day in Washington DC last night. The article argues, “(Susan) Rice made every effort to assure the pro-Israeli regime audience Washington has adopted a tough stance on Iran's nuclear program.”

Cyrus Nasseri, a former Iranian nuclear negotiator during the presidency of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told ISNA that he believes that it “will not take long to reach an agreement, but the implementation of the agreement will take many months because (we must) make sure that the Americans are committed to all of the (agreed) implementation details, since we cannot rely on them to follow through on their obligations. 

Hard-line Javan Online asks, “Why has the west decided to hold the negotiations now?” The article cites an international relations expert inside Iran that argues, “The national interests of European Union countries and some of the P5+1 have become a source of conflict,” and that “Iran should take full advantage of this opportunity.”   

ECONOMY AND ENERGY

ISNA reports that the Vice-President of Strategic Planning, Mohammad Bagher Nobakht discussed the latest employment conditions and explained that out of a total population of 76 million people, “63 million individuals are considered to be of working age.” Nobakht also added, “18 million people are employed in the private sector, and about three million people are employed by the government.”

Ghatreh News writes that an official at the National Iranian Gas Company (NIGC) announced, “The total number of CNG (compressed natural gas) pumping stations in Iran has increased to 2,186 stations.” The NIGC official added, “1000 additional CNG stations will be built in various provinces with the help of private companies.”

In a report titled, “The transfer of the pistachio capital of the world from Kerman to California,” Mehr News Agency article warns, “Californian pistachios will soon be available in bazaars in Iran.”

PHOTOS

President Hassan Rouhani makes an unannounced visit to a retirement home in Tehran.

Profile: "Smiling" blue-collar working fathers who refuse to retire.