Publishe Date: 4:48 PM - 3/25/2015 | Print

Iran, China Discuss N. Talks

Politics - Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi reviewed the latest developments in the nuclear talks between Tehran and the world powers.

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In a phone conversation on Tuesday, the two high-ranking officials discussed ways to settle the remaining issues to make a comprehensive nuclear agreement between Iran and the Group 5+1 (the US, Russia, China, Britain and France plus Germany) possible.

In relevant remarks on Monday, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hong Lei called on all groups involved in nuclear talks with Iran to show strong political will to make an agreement with Tehran.

In a press conference, Hong Lei urged all sides in the negotiations on Iran’s nuclear program to build up political will in an attempt to reach a comprehensive agreement.

“The negotiation on a comprehensive agreement on the Iranian nuclear issue has come to a critical point… All parties concerned should build up political will, work towards the shared goal, waste no time in making political decisions and make joint efforts to clinch a final deal through negotiation,” he said.

Hong Lei added that during the latest nuclear talks between Iran and the G5+1 in Lausanne, Switzerland, all participants demonstrated “strong political will, pragmatic attitude for negotiation and innovative thinking”.

The Chinese official pointed out that important progress has been made in Lausanne while the gaps still remain.

He said Beijing pursues an “objective and unbiased” approach to the Iranian nuclear issue and plays a constructive role in advancing the negotiations.

“The Chinese side put forward a host of ‘China solution’ and ‘China thinking’ on relevant focal and thorny problems during the negotiations to bridge differences among all parties and contribute ‘China wisdom’ to the negotiations. We will continue to make relentless efforts together with other parties,” Hong Lei said.

His remarks came as the Iranian nuclear negotiators will leave Tehran for Lausanne, Switzerland, Wednesday for the next round of nuclear talks with the world powers which is due to start either on Wednesday night or Thursday morning.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif is to meet with his US counterpart John Kerry in Lausanne on Thursday.

The ninth round of talks between the Iranian and US nuclear negotiators was held in Lausanne on Friday afternoon in the presence of Zarif, Kerry, their deputies, Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Ali Akbar Salehi, US Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, and EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and her deputy Helga Schmid. The Iranian negotiators returned to Tehran on Saturday to participate in ceremonies celebrating the Iranian new year (which started on March 21).

Zarif said on Saturday that Tehran and the 5+1 group of powers had found technical and political solutions to their differences.

"Proper technical and political solutions have been found for the issues which couldn't be solved in the past," Zarif wrote on his facebook page.

"We were ready for negotiations, but the other sides needed more time for coordination," he added.

"We have decided to return to Geneva on Wednesday to continue the talks, and God willingly, finalize the details of the solutions," Zarif said.

Earlier, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Seyed Abbas Araqchi Araqchi said that the next round of nuclear negotiations with the world powers would start on Wednesday, March 25.

The US and European countries require more consultations and arrangements with their governments to continue talks with Iran, he said.

Talks between Iran and G5+1 were very serious and extensive, he said, adding that nuclear teams at this juncture are in need of more negotiations and coordination, Araqchi added.

To the same reason, foreign ministers of the European states and the US will meet in Berlin on Saturday and the next round of talks with Iran will be resumed on March 25, he said.

Iran and the G5+1 are negotiating to narrow their differences over Tehran's nuclear energy program ahead of a July 1 deadline.

In relevant remarks on Friday, Zarif underlined that the ball was in Washington's court to make a choice between a final deal or ineffective pressures against Tehran.

"Iranians have already made their choice: Engage with dignity," Zarif wrote in her tweeter page.

"It's high time for the US and its allies to chose: pressure or agreement," he added.

Also on Tuesday, Salehi announced that Tehran and Washington had overcome their differences on technical issues with regard to Iran's nuclear program in most of the cases, adding that both sides were trying to resolve the remaining technical problems.

"We have agreed on 90 percent of technical issues," Salehi said after his second meeting with US Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz in Lausanne, Switzerland, on Tuesday.

"There has only remained one very important point of difference that we will try to resolve in the evening talks," he added.

Salehi is in Lausanne along with Zarif and his negotiating team to hold talks with the world powers on Tehran's nuclear issue.

Iran's team of nuclear negotiators, headed by Zarif, arrived in Lausanne on Sunday.

The Iranian top diplomat traveled to Brussels on Monday night for an 8-hour visit and meeting with his European counterparts and returned to Lausanne on Tuesday.

On Monday, Zarif and Kerry held discussions for five hours in Lausanne. The meeting was also attended by Salehi, Iranian Foreign Minister's deputies Araqchi and Majid Takht Ravanchi and President Rouhani's Special Aide Hossein Fereidoun as well as US Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz and US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman.

Iranian and American teams of negotiators held several days of talks in Geneva late in February. Then Zarif, Salehi and Fereidoun as well as Kerry and Moniz joined their deputies two days after the start of the talks.

Zarif, then, traveled to Montreux in western Switzerland two weeks ago for another three days of nuclear talks with Kerry.

Representatives of Iran and the G5+1 also had deputy-level negotiations in Montreux following the Zarif-Kerry meeting.

Both Iran and the G5+1 negotiators have underlined that cutting a final deal before the July 10 deadline is possible.

In relevant remarks earlier this month, Zarif said there was still a good chance for the success of the nuclear talks between Tehran and the world powers, but meantime underlined that failure of the negotiations would never mean the end of world to Iran.

"There is still an over 50-percent chance for the attainment of an agreement and I feel that both sides believe that success and attainment of an agreement will be much better and useful than failure in the negotiations; yet, failure in reaching an understanding will not be the end of the world but both sides have spent their time and political prestige in the success of these talks," Zarif said in an interview.

He stressed that the chances for the failure of the talks would be alive as long as agreement was not attained on all issues and details, and said, "As it was said in the Geneva agreement (November 2013), as long as an agreement is not made on all issues, nothing has been agreed on."

Asked about the removal of the sanctions against Iran, Zarif said, "Removal of the UN Security Council sanctions aren’t complicated and merely depends on the political will (of the other side)."

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