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Provisional deal in Iran N-talks

From CNN's Kasra Naji in Tehran
and Robin Oakley in London

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(CNN) -- A provisional agreement has been reached over Iran's nuclear program in talks conducted in Paris, but it must now be taken back to the capitals of Iran, Britain, Germany and France for confirmation, Iran and the EU said.

The agreement could usher in an important change in Iran's relations with Europe and much of the international community, said Iranian delegation spokesman Hussein Mousavian.

"The agreement will have to be approved at the highest levels of government," Mousavian told Iranian TV.

"My impression is that if this is approved by all four parties, we will witness an important change in Iran's relations with Europe and much of the international community in (the) not-too-distant future."

The European Union's so-called "Big Three" -- France, Germany and the United Kingdom -- have been holding their third round of talks with Iran in an effort to persuade Tehran to suspend its nuclear enrichment activities in return for improved trade and political relations.

Washington had warned Tehran that if no agreement was reached, Iran's nuclear program would be referred to the U.N. Security Council at the next meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board of Governors.

"The agreement is the outline of future cooperations between Iran and the EU in political, economic, security and confidence-building spheres," Mousavian said.

EU spokeswoman Ewa Hedlund confirmed that an agreement was reached Saturday on a "technical level," but she would not comment on details of its substance until it has the "political blessing by the governments in the four countries."

A spokesman for the French foreign ministry also confirmed the breakthrough, saying there was "considerable progress towards a provisional agreement."

Once the agreement is approved by the four capitals, expert-level talks about specific cooperation will begin.

It was not clear just how the two sides have resolved their difference over the EU demand that Iran suspend uranium enrichment activities -- something Iran has repeatedly said that it would not do for a sustained period.

Iran has said any suspension would be short-lived and only with the aim of building confidence between Tehran and the international community.


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