TEHRAN – Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif held meetings with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and three EU foreign ministers in Vienna on Sunday to help advance nuclear talks between Tehran and the major powers.
Kerry, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, and British Foreign Secretary William Hague arrived in the Austrian capital on Sunday to join the talks on a long-term settlement of the dispute over Tehran’s nuclear program.
The talks started on July 2.
Before the meetings, Zarif said on Twitter, “I won’t engage in blame games or spin. Not my style. What I will engage in is a sincere effort to come to an agreement. I expect the same.”
He also said, “We’re able to make history by this time next Sunday. Trust is a two-way street. Concerns of all sides must be addressed to reach a deal.”
Ahead of his meeting with European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, who coordinates the talks on behalf of the major powers, Kerry said major differences remain between Iran and the 5+1 group (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany).
“Obviously we have some very significant gaps still, so we need to see if we can make some progress,” Reuters quoted Kerry as saying.
“It is vital to make certain that Iran is not going to develop a nuclear weapon and that their program is peaceful and that’s what we’re here to try and achieve and I hope we can make some progress,” he said.
Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi also said, “Disputes over all major and important issues still remain. We have not been able to narrow the gaps on major issues and it is not clear whether we can do it.”