Zarif optimistic on progress of N-talks
As midnight neared in the Swiss city of Lausanne, the end-of-March deadline set by negotiators for a framework agreement on Iran’s nuclear program did not meet, and talks continued for one more day.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told reporters that ‘very good’ progress was made, acknowledging that solutions were found to most of the issues.
After the pause on talks at Tuesday midnight, he said the sides require some rest and that he hoped they would start drafting a framework agreement on Wednesday.
He expressed hope both sides would reach a framework before missing the extended deadline which is set for Wednesday, April 1.
Stressing that the solutions were found to most of the issues, Zarif said the negotiating sides might start drafting preliminary deal on Tehran’s nuclear program on April 1.
All sides present in Lausanne for nuclear talks had expressed optimism, saying that an agreement is possible, however uncertain.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, speaking in Moscow before returning to Switzerland, said chances of an agreement were ‘high.’
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius told reporters in Lausanne that they are moving forward, but “it’s complicated.”
Meanwhile, a German delegation source said, “it remains an open question whether we will succeed,” adding that it was “too early to think about stopping the clock, though that might prove necessary”.
In the last seven days of negotiations, the talks hit roadblocks on several significant issues, including the pace at which sanctions imposed by the United Nations would be lifted and restraints on Iran’s research and development activities.
The diplomats, who have been negotiating for 18 months, have a June 30 deadline to complete a fully detailed, comprehensive agreement.