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                                        Volume. 12141

Zarif specifies sticking points in Iran nuclear talks
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c_330_235_16777215_0___images_stories_edim_02_am3(95).jpgTEHRAN – The Iranian foreign minister said on Tuesday that Tehran’s enrichment capacity, the Arak heavy-water reactor, and the sanctions against the country are the main sticking points in the talks between Iran and the major powers. 
 
Mohammad Javad Zarif, who is the chief Iranian nuclear negotiator, also said that Iran’s position on the issue of the number of centrifuge machines that Tehran would be allowed to maintain under a final nuclear deal is clear, adding, “The other side’s insistence in this regard is ineffective.” 
 
Iran and the 5+1 group (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany) failed to meet a self-imposed July 20 deadline to clinch a comprehensive deal to resolve the dispute over Tehran’s nuclear program and agreed to extend the talks for four months until November 24. 
 
The United States and some Western powers have said Iran must significantly scale down its uranium enrichment program so that a final deal can be struck, but Tehran says it is ready to maintain its enrichment capacity at current levels for a specified period of time before expanding it. 
 
Iran currently has more than 9,000 centrifuge machines in operation. 
 
Elsewhere in his remarks, Zarif said that Iran’s negotiating partners are aware of the fact that the only solution to the nuclear issue is to reach an agreement. 
 
“They have seen that exerting pressure on the Iranian people is futile,” he added. 
 
AM/PA

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