Zarif: Long Way Still Ahead to Reach Final N. Deal with Powers
Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said after two days of intensive talks with his US counterpart in Geneva that Tehran and Washington have had “serious, useful and constructive” talks in the last few days, but there is still a long way ahead before a final nuclear deal can be struck.
Speaking to reporters on Monday and after two days of talks with US Secretary of State John Kerry, Zarif said, “We have made progress on some topics to some extent, but there is still a long way to pave before reaching a final deal.”
He noted that Iran and the Group 5+1 (the US, Russia, China, France and Britain plus Germany) had “serious, useful and constructive” talks, specially with the US whose secretaries of state and energy also took part in the negotiations.
The Iranian foreign minister reiterated that there will be no agreement unless both sides agree on all issues, and said, “Therefore, the negotiations will continue and we have decided to continue our talks on the sidelines of the upcoming meeting of Human Rightst Council next week.”
Zarif thanked Head of the Atomic Energy Agency of Iran (AEOI) Ali Akbar Salehi for his effective and useful presence in the new round of talks.
The Iranian and American teams of negotiators started several days of talks in Geneva on Friday. Then after two days of negotiations, Zarif, Salehi and President Rouhani’s brother and senior aide آHossein Fereidoun as well as John Kerry and US Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz joined their deputies in the talks.
Earlier today, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Seyed Abbas Araqchi cautioned that Tehran will leave the negotiating table with the world powers if the other side adopts a bullying approach in the negotiations.
“We will continue the negotiations as long as there is a language of respect…, but we will surely leave the table if this (bullying) approach is extended to the negotiating table,” Araqchi, also a senior negotiator in talks with the world powers, said.
Araqchi’s remarks came after Kerry said that Washington would leave the talks, if Tehran did not take a “productive” decision to prove the “peaceful” nature of its nuclear program.
“Kerry’s statements about the nuclear talks were repetition of (US President Barack) Obama’s last week statements and these remarks have always been repeated and we believe that they do not influence the negotiations,” the Iranian deputy foreign minister added.
He reiterated that the Iran-Group 5+1 talks (the US, Russia, China, France and Britain plus Germany) should be based on the two sides’ interests and proceed with a win-win solution, and said, “Both the US and other G5+1 members have experienced that political and media pressures will never make the Islamic Republic of Iran change its methods, demands and stances in the negotiations.”
Araqchi reiterated that Iran will continue negotiations with the G5+1 as long as there is mutual respect, but it will otherwise leave the negotiating table.
He pointed to the third day of negotiations in Geneva on Sunday, and said, “Summing up the discussions, we cannot claim that progress has been made in the talks, we still have differences, but the negotiating sides are seriously and resolutely following up the negotiations to reach a solution although they have not achieved comprehensive solutions over key issues.”
On Saturday, Kerry said that US President Barack Obama “is fully prepared to stop these talks if he feels that they’re not being met with the kind of productive decision-making necessary to prove that a program is in fact peaceful”.
His remarks came after Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif underlined the country’s determination to clinch a fair deal with the six major world powers, but meantime, said Tehran would not accept the West’s excessive demands in the nuclear talks.
Speaking in the Swiss city of Geneva on Saturday, Zarif said Tehran would not approve of an “incomplete and vague” nuclear accord, but rather a “complete agreement”.
“No other deal will be made before a complete agreement is clinched,” said the top Iranian diplomat.
Zarif also referred to the discussions made by the Iranian and American deputy foreign ministers in Geneva on Friday, and said, “The deputies had good discussions, but no particular agreement has been made on the issues (at hand).”
During the 10th round of the negotiations between Iran and the six world powers in Vienna in November, the seven nations decided to extend the talks until July after they failed to strike an agreement. The last round of the nuclear talks between Iran and the six world powers was held in February.
According to Iranian and US diplomats the talks will continue in Geneva next Monday.
Both Iran and the G5+1 negotiators have underlined their hope that attainment of a final deal before the July 10 deadline is possible.