Publishe Date: 7:17 AM - 5/14/2014 | Print

Iran Optimistic about Cutting Final Deal with World Powers in Due Time

Politics - A senior member of Iran's negotiating team in talks with the six major world powers underlined that Tehran is resolved to do its best to remove possible barriers in the way of concluding a permanent deal with the Sextet, and urged the opposite side to do the same.

Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for legal and international affairs Seyed Abbas Araqchi told reporters in Vienna late Tuesday evening that Iran is fully prepared to achieve an agreement before the deadline.

He went on to say that we are very hopeful and so is the other side that an agreement can be reached before July 20, if there is goodwill and real political determination.

Araqchi added that there would be three additional rounds of negotiations besides the current one to make headway towards a permanent nuclear deal.

Two rounds of talks would be held in June while the third round could be stretched as long as 20 days in July, if there is a need for it, the Iranian official said.

He stressed negotiations were at the most sensitive stage, saying the start of drafting a final accord was the most difficult and complicated phase.

Araqchi acknowledged some of the issues were really difficult and there remained some big gaps.

Bridging the gaps is very difficult but not hopeless, he said.

On Tuesday, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Tehran will participate in the upcoming talks with the Group 5+1 (the US, Russia, China, Britain and France plus Germany) with firm determination.

"We have come here with a decisive will" and seek to defend the Iranian nation's nuclear rights, Zarif said upon arrival in Vienna, where he is due to meet EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and the representatives of the six world powers.

Noting that Iran and the G5+1 are scheduled to hold three other rounds of talks by July 20, he said none of the seven delegations have prepared any draft agreement, although they have certain issues in mind.

Zarif and his negotiating team are also accompanied by a team of legal advisors and experts in this round of the talks.

His remarks came as the new round of talks between Iran and the world powers will kick off in Vienna on Wednesday.

Deputy chief negotiators from Iran and the sextet wrapped up their last round of talks in Vienna on April 9. The talks were headed by Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Seyed Abbas Araqchi and EU foreign policy deputy chief Helga Schmidt.

The talks started on April 8 by a session presided by Ashton and Zarif at the UN headquarters in Vienna, and continued by a meeting among the deputy chief negotiators of the seven nations.

The Iranian Foreign Ministry in a statement on April 8 reiterated that its team of negotiators would not discuss any topic but the country's nuclear standoff with the West in its talks with the six world powers.

The talks between Tehran and the G5+1 are part of efforts to seal a final deal on Iran’s nuclear energy program.

Iran and the Group 5+1 representatives had several sessions of talks in Vienna on March 18-19 too. Following the breakthrough interim agreement between Iran and the six powers, the two sides accepted to send their senior negotiating teams to monthly meetings to discuss a final and comprehensive deal until July. If the seven nations fail to agree on a final deal by then, the Geneva interim agreement will be extended for another 6 months.

On November 24, Iran and the Group 5+1 sealed a six-month Joint Plan of Action to lay the groundwork for the full resolution of the West’s decade-old dispute with Iran over the latter's nuclear energy program.

In exchange for Tehran’s confidence-building bid to limit certain aspects of its nuclear activities, the sextet of the world powers agreed to lift some of the existing sanctions against Tehran and impose no nuclear-related sanctions on Iran during the six-month period.
 

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