|‘Progress registered in Iran nuclear talks’||
TEHRAN – The Chinese envoy to the nuclear talks between Iran and the six world powers has said that the drafting of a common framework text shows “progress registered.”
Speaking to reporters on Friday, Wang Qun said that the last few days demonstrated that “all parties wish to see an agreement,” the Wall Street Journal reported.
Iran and the 5+1 group (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany) ended an intense round of nuclear talks in Vienna on Friday after making 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.
British Foreign Secretary William Hague wrote on his twitter account that some progress was made in the talks.
“Some progress is being made in Iran talks. But huge challenges remain and Iranian political will is the key requirement,” Hague said.
The U.S. envoy at the talks, Wendy Sherman, said, “We are at a very crucial moment in these negotiations. Our conversations this week have been very tough but constructive.”
“We… had very intensive sessions focused on the very hard work of drafting text,” the U.S. undersecretary of state added.
She went on to say that the two sides head home with a “heavily bracketed” working document that can form the basis of the next round of talks.
“We would like to get an agreement,” a senior U.S. administration official, speaking not for attribution, said. The U.S. administration is “completely focused… on getting a good deal — not just any deal.”
“I would not characterize it as the first or last chance, I would characterize it as the best chance,” the U.S. official said. “We have had in-depth, constructive talks. We understand each other quite well… An enormous amount of work has gone into this by everyone… We should maintain this level of robust diplomacy and give every single chance to succeed.”
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who leads the Iranian negotiating team, told reporters on Friday a deal could only be reached if the six-power group — and especially the U.S. — backed away from “excessive demands.”
The Islamic Republic will not relinquish 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.
The current process of negotiations between Iran and the major powers is 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.
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