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U.S. warns on Iran 'breakout' capability as nuclear talks start

By Justyna Pawlak and Parisa Hafezi VIENNA (Reuters) - The United States said on Tuesday Iran has the ability to produce fissile material for a nuclear bomb in two months, if it so decided, as Tehran and six world powers swung into a new round of talks in Vienna on resolving their atomic dispute.

Iran nuclear 'breakout' time at two months

Iran is two months away from breakout capability to produce enough nuclear material for a bomb should they resume their mothballed enrichment process, Secretary of State John Kerry warned Tuesday. Tehran is in the thick of international negotiations over its nuclear program, with a fresh round of talks beginning on Tuesday in Vienna aimed at starting a draft of an historic final deal. Under a temporary deal which took effect January 20, Iran froze certain nuclear activities for six months in exchange for minor relief from sanctions hurting its economy.

Kerry says Iran 'breakout' window now seen as two months

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Tuesday the current view of the Iran "breakout" period for developing nuclear weapons capability is two months. "I think it's public knowledge today that we're operating with a time period for a so-called breakout of about two months. That's been in the public domain," Kerry testified at a Senate hearing. Iran's breakout time is defined as how long it would take it to produce fissile material for one weapon.

Iran, world powers try to move nuclear talks up a gear

Iran and world powers held a new round of nuclear talks Tuesday hoping to move to the next level and start drafting a historic but highly ambitious final deal next month. Threatening to drive a wedge between the powers, however, is the crisis over Ukraine, which has led to the biggest standoff between Russia and the West since the Cold War. Iran and the five UN Security Council permanent members plus Germany want to transform a temporary accord struck in November into a permanent agreement before it lapses on July 20.

Iran, world powers seek to intensify nuclear talks

Iran and world powers kicked off a new round of nuclear talks Tuesday hoping to make enough progress to move up a gear and start drafting a historic final deal next month. Threatening to drive a wedge between the powers, however, is the crisis surrounding Ukraine, which has led to the biggest standoff between Russia and the West since the end of the Cold War. Iran and the five UN Security Council permanent members plus Germany want to transform a deal struck in November into a permanent agreement by the time this temporary accord lapses on July 20.

U.S. senators press for hard line over reported Iran-Russia deal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Two U.S. senators who led a push for more sanctions on Iran during negotiations over its nuclear program called on President Barack Obama on Monday to impose more restrictions if Tehran pursues an energy barter agreement with Russia. Reuters reported last week that Tehran and Moscow had made progress toward an oil-for-goods deal that sources said could be worth $20 billion and enable Iran to boost vital energy exports in defiance of Western sanctions.

Iran hits out at EU parliament over rights resolution

Iran has criticised a European Parliament human rights resolution, saying the body lacks the "legitimacy" to advise countries on such matters, media reported on Monday. The resolution passed on Thursday condemned Iran over "continued, systematic violation of fundamental rights," and said its 2013 presidential election was not "held in accordance with the democratic standards". It also said "any future parliament delegations to Iran should be committed to meeting members of the political opposition and civil society activists, and to having access to political prisoners."

Iran hopes nuclear talks will pave way for drafting of deal

VIENNA (Reuters) - Iran hopes enough progress will be made at talks with major powers this week to let negotiators start drafting an accord to settle a dispute over its nuclear program, a top Iranian negotiator was quoted as saying by official media. The Islamic Republic and six world powers will hold a fresh round of talks in Vienna on Tuesday and Wednesday intended to reach a comprehensive agreement by July 20 on how to resolve a decade-old standoff that has stirred fears of a Middle East war.

Iran aims to move ahead to drafting nuclear deal

Iran said Monday it aims at talks with world powers this week to wind up the negotiating phase and move on to drafting a final accord on its nuclear programme. "We will try to finish the discussions in this round and start writing the draft of the comprehensive agreement from the Iranian month of Ordibehesht," which starts April 21, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif was quoted as saying by state-run television upon arrival in Vienna for the Tuesday-Wednesday talks.

Iran hits out at EU parliament over rights resolution

Iran has criticised a European Parliament human rights resolution, saying the body lacks the "legitimacy" to advise countries on such matters, media reported on Monday. The resolution passed on Thursday condemned Iran over "continued, systematic violation of fundamental rights," and said its 2013 presidential election was not "held in accordance with the democratic standards". It also said "any future parliament delegations to Iran should be committed to meeting members of the political opposition and civil society activists, and to having access to political prisoners."
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