|U.S. says Iran nuclear talks are ‘very substantive’||
TEHRAN – The U.S. State Department says Iran and the six major powers are conducting the negotiations on Tehran’s nuclear program “in good faith” and in a “very substantive way”, though cautioning that there is no guarantee that the talks will lead to a comprehensive deal.
“The fact [is] that we are talking in a very business-like and substantive way about very detailed issues we’ve never talked at this level before – this is the best chance we’ve ever had to get this done diplomatically,” said State Department deputy spokeswoman Marie Harf at her daily press briefing on Friday.
“We all are committed to getting this done. Does that mean we will? We have no idea… We’re realistic about the chance that we will,” she added.
She made the remarks in response to an article written by Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in the recent issue of Foreign Affairs magazine in which he had expressed optimism about the negotiations, saying, “the unexpectedly fast pace of progress…so far augurs well for a speedy resolution of this unnecessary crisis.”
Iran and the 5+1 group - the United States, France, Britain, Russia, China plus Germany – are leading negotiations to build on an interim deal struck in November, under which Tehran agreed not to expand its nuclear program for six months in exchange for limited sanctions relief. The agreement came into force on January 20. Iran and the major powers have set a July 20 deadline to clinch a long-term deal that would lead to a gradual lifting of all nuclear-related sanctions.
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