TEHRAN - Ali Akbar Velayati, the senior foreign policy advisor to the Supreme Leader, says there are differences among the 5+1 countries (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany) and this has made clinching a nuclear deal between Tehran and these countries difficult.
The nuclear talks between Iran and the 5+1 group which started in Vienna on July 20 are still underway. The two sides have set July 20 as the deadline to clinch a final and comprehensive nuclear deal. However, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Tuesday that enough progress had been made in the talks to be able to extend the negotiations.
The Iranian nuclear negotiators are led by Zarif and the 5+1 group is led by Catherine Ashton, the EU foreign policy chief.
The foreign ministers of Britain, Germany, and France visited Vienna on Sunday for talks with Zarif. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry also visited Vienna but he stayed there longer for talks with Zarif.
But the foreign ministers of China and Russia did not attend the talks.
In an interview with the Mehr news agency published on Wednesday, Velayati said the foreign ministers of the 5+1 group were scheduled to go to Vienna “at the end of the talks”, but four of them went there at the middle of the talks upon a request by Ashton.
This showed the difference between the foreign ministers of the 5+1 countries, said Velayati, a former foreign minister.
Velayati stated that one of the problems in nuclear talks is that there is no “consensus” among the six-nation countries.
Commenting on the makeup of the Iranian negotiating team, he said that they are ‘active and resourceful’ and follow the path set by Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei.
They defend Iran’s interests and stand against the excessive demands by the U.S., he added.
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