|Iran, major powers wrap up ‘difficult’ talks without progress||
VIENNA – Iran and the six major powers ended an “intensive” and “difficult” round of nuclear talks on Friday in Vienna without making any significant progress.
But a senior Iranian negotiator told reporters that the two sides are determined to continue the talks which are aimed at finding a final solution to a decade-old dispute over Tehran’s nuclear program.
“The talks were intensive, close, and difficult. The discussions were serious, and the atmosphere was more or less without tension, but there are wide differences,” Abbas Araqchi, the Iranian deputy foreign minister, said during a press briefing after the end of the Vienna talks.
“The discussions were good, but no significant progress was made,” he said, adding that lack of progress was natural because it was the first round of talks on drafting the text of the final deal.
In addition, he said that Iran and the major powers (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany) will meet again in June to continue the negotiations.
A senior U.S. official, on condition of anonymity, said, "We believe there needs to be some additional realism.”
"Time is not unlimited here," he added, according to Reuters.
"In any negotiation there are good days and bad days, there are ups and downs, this has been a moment of great difficulty but one that was not entirely unexpected," the official said. "We are just at the beginning of the drafting process and we have a significant way to go."
The U.S. official noted that all parties wanted to adhere to their July 20 deadline for completing a deal in which Iran would agree not to expand its nuclear program in exchange for a lifting of sanctions.
"This has, candidly, been a very slow and difficult process and we are concerned with the short amount of time that is left," the U.S. official added. "But let me be very clear: we believe we can still get it done."
Subscribe to our RSS feed to stay in touch and receive all of TT updates right in your feed reader