Publishe Date: 12:09 PM - 6/11/2014 | Print

Senior Iranian Negotiator: Talks with US Team Tough, Intensive, Positive

Politics - Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister and senior negotiator in talks with the world powers Seyed Abbas Araqchi said his recent talks with US diplomats in Geneva on Iran's nuclear program were 'tough, intensive and positive'.

"The atmosphere ruling the talks was positive and constructive and the nuclear issues were discussed," Araqchi told FNA on Tuesday night after the end of the second day of his negotiations with the US and EU diplomats at Hotel President Wilson in Geneva.

"The talks were intensive and hard but they were held in a positive atmosphere," he added.

Meantime, Araqchi underlined that the differences between the two sides still exist and therefore, consultations would continue.

The Iranian and US officials met on Monday and Tuesday on the threshold of high-profile meetings between Tehran and the Group 5+1 (the US, Russia, China, Britain and France plus Germany) due to be held in Vienna on June 16 to 20.

Araqchi expressed the hope that in the upcoming talks in Vienna, Iran and the world powers could start drafting a comprehensive and final deal as envisaged in the Geneva interim agreement inked in November.

"In these talks we don’t have any goal but stabilization of the Iranian nation's rights to use peaceful nuclear technology and we hope that we can attain this goal in the remaining time we have by the end of the first six months envisaged in the Geneva agreement."

In November 2013, the two sides signed an interim nuclear deal in the Swiss city of Geneva that came into force on January 20. The deadline for attaining a final deal is July 20.

Iran and the six world powers last met in their fourth round of talks in Vienna on May 14-16. Since the November deal, the seven nations have been discussing ways to iron out differences and start drafting a final deal that would end the West’s dispute with Iran over the country’s nuclear energy program.

Iran said there has been no tangible progress in writing the draft text of the agreement and it blamed the US for the failure, saying Washington has made excessive demands beyond the agreements made in the previous rounds of talks.

On Monday afternoon, representatives from Iran, EU and the United States had five hours of trilateral talks, followed by a bilateral meeting between the Iranian and American delegations in Geneva on Tuesday.

The Iranian and French nuclear negotiating teams are also due to take part in bilateral talks in Geneva on Wednesday.

The French have decided to send their new foreign ministry political director Nicolas de Rivière to replace their longtime lead negotiator and political director Jacques Audibert.

The Iranian team is then due to take part in bilateral talks with the Russian negotiators, including Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov, on the sidelines of the Disarmament Conference in Rome on Wednesday and Thursday.

Meantime, the German's top envoy to the Iran-Group 5+1 talks Hans Deiter Lucas is also due to meet his Iranian counterparts in Tehran next Sunday.

Araqchi and Deputy Foreign Minister for Europe and America Majid Takht Ravanchi are heading Iran’s delegation in the talks.

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