Publishe Date: 7:31 PM - 6/18/2014 | Print

Zarif: Iran, G5+1 start writing final agreement

Politics - Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif announced that Iran and the Group 5+1 (the US, Russia, China, France and Britain plus Germany) have started writing the text of final agreement or the Comprehensive Joint Plan of Action.

The Iranian foreign minister said that the two sides had difficult discussion over the past two days.


ˈSome stances of the other side are completely unacceptable,ˈ Zarif said.


Representatives of Iran and the Group 5+1 continued talks on Wednesday over a final agreement on Tehranˈs nuclear program.


Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Seyyed Abbas Araqchi accompanied by Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for European and American affairs Majid Takht Ravanchi and EU foreign policy deputy chief Helga Schmidt held a round of talks in Vienna on Wednesday.


The meeting was followed by multilateral and bilateral talks among the members of the G5+1 started.


Speaking to reporters on Tuesday night after holding negotiations with the representatives of the G5+1, Araqchi described the atmosphere of the talks as positive, and said drafting the final deal between the two sides would possibly start on Wednesday.


ˈThe meetings are held intensely and the discussions are made in a constructive and positive atmosphere,ˈ he said.


The senior negotiator expressed the hope that the two sides would reach an initial general text in this round even if some differences still remain in place.


Asked about the common points and differences between Iran and the G5+1, Araqchi said both sides agree the continuation of Iranˈs enrichment program and the removal of sanctions, while they hold different views on the operation of Iranˈs heavy water reactor in Arak and Fordo enrichment facility.


He pointed to the presence of US Deputy Secretary of State William Burns in this round of talks and his meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in the presence of EU foreign policy chief Catherin Ashton in Vienna on Monday, and said the US delegation is headed by Wendy Sherman who is Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs and she participates in the negotiations, but the presence of Mr. Burns was useful and it may be repeated in future.


Araqchi underlined that no other issue than Iranˈs nuclear program is discussed in the talks between Iran and the G5+1, adding that the other side still maintains its past positions and sometimes raises excessive demands which makes reaching an agreement difficult.


He said that Iran seeks the removal of all sanctions against the country but the two sides haven’t been able to agree on the timeline and arrangements for such a move.


Asked if the US has been serious in the talks with Iran, Araqchi said, ˈWe didn’t see any (negative) sign in the American side to think that they intend to prolong the negotiations. The American side is serious to have the negotiations yield results by July 20 and if not the American delegation will face difficulties in the negotiations and the American team is determined to reach an understanding.ˈ


Also, Michael Mann, the spokesman of the EU foreign policy chief, said Iran and the six world powers are working on the text of a possible agreement in their talks in Vienna, adding that the seven teams of negotiations are resolved to work out a deal pleasant to all parties.


Mann said on Tuesday afternoon that the seven nations had a hectic day on Monday with several bilateral and trilateral meetings between Iran and the different members of the G5+1.


Elaborating on the contents of the meetings, he said, ˈThe first preview session today worked and focused on elements of a text that could be possible agreement.ˈ


He said experts teams of the seven nations are now to ˈdiscuss the technical level of some of the questions that have been raised at the preliminary session today and so, you know, we have obviously been working very hard, everybody knows that the negotiations are very complex technically and politically but we from the E3+3 (G5+1) are determined to make progress this week and to reach an agreement as quickly as possibleˈ.


ˈBut the most important thing is that the agreement is good and fully reassures the international community about the pure and peaceful nature of the Iranian nuclear program,ˈ he continued.


Ashtonˈs spokesman said the agreement should be palatable to all the seven nations and provide for the concerns of both sides.


ˈWe know that there is a lot of work to do we don’t know when an agreement might be reached so it’s impossible to predict what is the most important thing is that everybody focuses very hard on reaching an agreement that everybody is happy with.ˈ


Reiterating the determination of the negotiators to reach a final deal, he said, ˈWe are very serious about these negotiations this is an important agreement for the international community. Catherine Ashton is mandated by the United Nations to reach an agreement on behalf of the international community to ensure that Iran meets all its international obligations and she is focused very seriously on this and will do everything she can to make an agreement possible.ˈ


Also on Tuesday, Russiaˈs Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov announced that Iranian and Russian negotiators had constructive talks earlier in the day.

ˈOur consultations this morning were excellent and constructive,ˈ Ryabkov said after his meeting with Araqchi yesterday.


The Russian deputy foreign minister announced that negotiators have almost started drafting the final deal.


Also, Head of Chinese delegation, Wang Qun, the director-general of the department of arms control of Chinaˈs foreign ministry, told reporters on Wednesday that all countries participating in the talks between Iran and the G5+1 are determined to reach a final deal by July 20.


He said that all sides are after win-win results.


Zarif and his accompanying team of negotiators arrived in Vienna Monday morning to participate in the fifth round of talks between Tehran and the six major world powers in the Austrian capital from June 16-20.


The Iranian delegation is led by Zarif. The talks started by a working luncheon between Zarif and Ashton followed by a trilateral meeting with the US delegation.


Iran and the world powers have said that they are resolved to start drafting a long-awaited final deal in this round of talks.


Upon arrival at Vienna airport, Zarif told reporters that Iran and the G5+1 have one month to reach a comprehensive deal and ˈif the other side is ready, we will (also) be prepared to draft the final agreementˈ.


ˈWhenever the other side is ready to enter talks seriously, there will be a possibility for reaching results,ˈ he added.


Zarif also noted the fatwa (religious decree) issued by Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei against the production and use of the nuclear weapons, and said it provides an ˈobjective guaranteeˈ to ensure the opposite sides that Iranˈs nuclear program will remain peaceful.


In November 2013, Iran and the six world powers 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.


After the May meeting, 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.


Last week, Iran and the powers held a series of bilateral talks to narrow down their differences before the start of the multilateral negotiations in Vienna. Thus, the Iranian negotiating team had a series of bilateral talks with most G5+1 members during the last week.


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