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Iran, 5+1 group make progress in drafting final nuclear deal
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c_330_235_16777215_0___images_stories_edim_02_am1(352).jpgVIENNA – Iran and the major powers ended an intense round of nuclear talks in Vienna on Friday after making good progress in the process of drafting the text of a final deal to resolve the decade-old dispute over Tehran’s nuclear program. 
 
The two sides also agreed to resume nuclear negotiations on July 2 in the Austrian capital.
 
Iran and the major powers agreed on the title of the final deal and reached some agreement on the framework of the final text, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said in a press briefing with Iranian journalists on Friday after the end of the talks between Iran and the 5+1 group (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany).
 
He said that the title of the final deal will be the “comprehensive joint plan of action.”
 
In response to a question by the Tehran Times reporter, the chief Iranian nuclear negotiator said, “We presented our ideas in a very concrete way - not our positions but how we see a way to resolve this issue because we believed from the very beginning that all sides need to come to the negotiating table with the view to resolve this issue not simply to repeat the positions because if positions were able to resolve this issue, this issue had been resolved a long time ago, so that has been our approach.
 
“Unfortunately that has not been what we have seen from the other side and maybe part of it is not unexpected because of the fact that the other side is consisting of several countries with different perspectives, different interests, and different constituencies to which they need to respond and that has been the problem.”
 
“What we have achieved already is that we have started putting everything on paper - not agreeing on everything, but at least having in black and white form what each side believes should be done. From our perspective, what we have put forward is a resolution and not the repetition of positions. We believe if the other side does the same we will reach a common position and hopefully resolve this issue.” 
 
During the press briefing, Zarif also said the major development in this round of talks was that the process of drafting the text of the final deal started. 
 
There is agreement on some issues, but we have differing views on many other issues, he said.
 
“I feel the other side was not ready for serious negotiations based on realities in this round,” he said.
 
The Islamic Republic will not give up the Iranian people’s rights and interests under pressure and will not give in to excessive demands, he said, adding that Iran negotiates in good faith and with self-confidence and does not need to buy time.
 
“We want to reach conclusion, but we are insistent to preserve the interests and rights of the Iranian people,” he said. 
 
Michael Mann, a spokesman for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton who coordinates the talks on behalf of the six major powers, said on Friday, “We presented each other with a number of ideas on a range of issues, and we have begun the drafting process.” 
 
He also said that political directors of the six powers will meet in Brussels next Thursday to continue discussions.
 
The current process of negotiations between Iran and the major powers are meant to build on the landmark interim nuclear deal they clinched last November in Geneva. 
 
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.
 
AM/PA

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