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                                        Volume. 12157

Failure to reach final nuclear deal will not be a catastrophe: Iran
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TEHRAN – A senior Iranian nuclear negotiator has said that it will not be a “catastrophe” if Iran and the major powers fail to seal a final nuclear deal by the November 24 deadline. 
 
“The Geneva agreement has opened up an opportunity for us to strike a final deal, but if we cannot reach an agreement, no catastrophe will occur,” ISNA on Saturday quoted Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi as saying. 
 
Iran and the 5+1 group (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany) clinched an interim nuclear deal in Geneva last November, under which Iran agreed to scale down its nuclear program for six months in exchange for limited sanctions relief. The accord came into force on January 20. 
 
Iran and the six major powers failed to meet a self-imposed July 20 deadline to hammer out a comprehensive deal to resolve the dispute over Tehran’s nuclear program and agreed to extend the nuclear talks for four more months until November 24. 
 
A new round of talks on a final nuclear deal is expected to take place in September on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York.
 
Araqchi said that the main sticking points in the talks are the future scope of Iran’s uranium enrichment capacity, the Arak heavy-water reactor, the duration of the final deal, and the mechanism for lifting the sanctions against the country.
 
“There are still differences on some issues. And views on some other issues have come closer together,” he said. 
 
Araqchi also expressed hope that the two sides would be able to narrow their differences in the bilateral meetings between Iran and members of the 5+1 group scheduled to be held over the next month.         
 
AM/PA 
 

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