Talks are resuming in Vienna this week between Iran and the West to try and come to an agreement over the Islamic Republic’s nuclear programme and trade sanctions placed on the country by the United States and Europe.
Several rounds of talks have taken place over the past six months and are some of the most significant steps forward taken by the two sides who have historically had a very unfriendly relationship. Tensions have been around the fact that the West believe Iran’s nuclear programme is actually a cover for a nuclear weaponry programme, an accusation Iran has vehemently denied.
Last year however, newly elected President of Iran Hassan Rouhani agreed on a six month pause in their nuclear programme in return for the US and Europe lifting some sanctions on the country.
This six month pause is due to come to an end July 20, by which time it is hoped a more permanent agreement will have been reached.
U.S. Deputy Secretary of State William Burns and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif are both due in Vienna this week and it is expected that the US and Iran will also use these latest round of talks to discuss possibly cooperating to tackle the crisis in Iraq.
“Whatever dialogue may or may not be taking place would take place on the sideline or outside of the mainstream of the nuclear talks,” the US Secretary of State John Kerry said.