|Iran, Germany hold nuclear consultations in Tehran||
TEHRAN – Representatives of Iran and Germany held nuclear consultations in Tehran on Sunday just ahead of a new round of political talks between Iran and the major powers over Tehran’s nuclear program, which will begin in Vienna on Monday.
The discussions took place as part of bilateral consultations between representatives of Iran and the 5+1 group (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany) meant to help bridge differences that have so far hindered progress in negotiations that are aimed at resolving a decade-old dispute over Tehran’s nuclear program.
Before bilateral meetings between Iranian and U.S. diplomats on June 9 and 10, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi told reporters 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 Iran’s nuclear issue.
“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,” the senior Iranian nuclear negotiator said.
He also said that there are wide differences between Iran and the major powers over various issues.
On the upcoming Vienna talks, Araqchi said that he expected that Iran and the major powers would 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.
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