|Major powers must make ‘tough decisions’ in nuclear talks: Iranian negotiator||
TEHRAN – Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi has said that the major powers must make “tough decisions” in nuclear talks with the Islamic Republic so that a final deal could be struck to resolve the decade-old dispute over Tehran’s nuclear program.
There are still wide differences between Iran and the 5+1 group (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany) over various issues, the senior Iranian nuclear negotiator told reporters in Geneva on Monday just before negotiators from Iran and the U.S. held consultations to prepare for the next round of political-level nuclear talks between Tehran and the six major powers, which will be held in Vienna from June 16.
“The other side must make tough decisions and must be able to accommodate our views and must be ready to help establish the Iranian nation’s rights through recognizing them,” Araqchi said.
He also said that Iran plans to hold separate bilateral meetings with some delegations of the 5+1 group before the next round of nuclear talks to thoroughly discuss various options and proposals in more detail so that the two sides will be able to bring their views closer together.
Commenting on the planned Vienna talks, Araqchi said that he expects that Iran and the major powers will start work on drafting the text of a comprehensive nuclear deal.
In the previous round of political-level talks in Vienna, Iran and the major powers made little progress in building on the landmark interim nuclear deal they clinched last November in Geneva and did not reach the point to start drafting a final deal.
Under the Geneva deal, Iran 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 nuclear deal. The deadline can be extended by another half year if both sides agree.
“There is hope that we can reach a final agreement in this time frame, but if we cannot reach (an agreement), we have to extend the Geneva deal for six more months so that we can continue the talks,” Araqchi said.
Another senior Iranian nuclear negotiator also said on Monday morning that in the talks with the United States, the Iranian officials will express their views explicitly “within the framework of the system’s red lines.”
Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for European and American Affairs Majid Takht-Ravanchi also said that the key to success is to pursue the talks based on realities, and not illusions and outside pressure.
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