Iran’s Zarif: No Agreement Will Be Signed Today
Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Tehran and the six world powers are not due to sign any agreement today, adding that the seven nations might only issue a statement.
“No agreement will be signed today,” Zarif told reporters after 8 days of talks with his counterparts from the Group 5+1 (the five permanent UN Security Council members plus Germany) in Lausanne, Switzerland, on Thursday, in words that sought to correct any misperceptions about the document that might be issued by the seven nations later today.
He said only a statement might be released later today.
“No statement has yet been prepared,” the Iranian foreign minister said, and added, “We hope to achieve results today.”
“If everything goes well, there will be a formal, public statement by midnight,” he said.
“We have said right from the beginning that no agreement would be signed today. We have always stated that there could be only ONE agreement which could go into effect at the end of the talks on July 1 if everything goes well,” Zarif added.
“There are always many ups and downs in negotiations, and now that I am speaking to you, there is good hope for reaching a common understanding,” the Iranian foreign minister said.
Yet, Zarif said there has been “good progress in the talks; of course, we have not reached the end point yet”.
“Solutions seem to be accessible,” Zarif said, and added, “All delegations are necessitated to work on general solutions.”
He said all issues have been “more or less resolved, but of course this does not mean that all issues that are to be touched in the final agreement have been specified”.
“We are supposed to reach consensus and the delegations will start working on the text in the near future.”
“Things might grow difficult when drafting starts; now we believe that problems have almost been resolved,” the Iranian foreign minister concluded.
Earlier on Thursday, Zarif announced that Tehran and the Group 5+1 (the US, Russia, China, France and Britain plus Germany) have made noteworthy progress in their nuclear talks in Lausanne, but no final agreement has been struck yet.
“We have made considerable progress, but no result has been achieved yet,” Zarif told reporters after eight days of marathon talks with negotiators from the six world powers in Lausanne, Switzerland, on Thursday.
“If the efforts to reach an agreement on the solutions bear result (EU Foreign Policy Chief Federica) Mogherini and me will issue a joint press statement; our friends are working on it.”
On Wednesday night, Zarif complained that the western parties to the nuclear negotiations do not show the needed resolve to end the standoff.
“Progress in talks depends on political will,” Zarif told reporters in Lausanne.
“And there has always been a problem with the political will of the opposite party,” he continued.
Asked if there has been any progress in resolving the two remaining problems of sanctions and nuclear research and development, Zarif said the seven delegations are now working on the details of the solutions and the negotiations have grown “very difficult”. “We hope that progress be made.”
He said negotiations have become more complicated since several delegations are now meeting each other for bilateral and multilateral talks to discuss “their concerns, viewpoints and probably different approaches from both legal and political views”.
“This complexity is there both between Iran and the (six) countries and among the G5+1 members,” the Iranian foreign minister added.
Iran and Group 5+1 (the five permanent UN Security Council members plus Germany) started their new round of talks in Lausanne, Switzerland, last Thursday to narrow their differences over Tehran’s nuclear energy program ahead of a July 1 deadline.
Early Wednesday morning, a source close to the nuclear negotiations said despite Iran’s various proposals for the removal of the sanctions as enshrined under the Geneva Interim deal, the US and France are adamant to end the standoff by rejecting the offers.
“The Iranian team has taken several goodwill measures to work out a deal, but the United States and France insist on keeping the pressures in place despite the Geneva interim deal which envisaged a removal of the sanctions under a final agreement between Iran and the world powers,” the source who asked to remain anonymous due to the sensitivity of the talks told FNA on Tuesday night.
Iran and its supreme leader have repeatedly stressed that removal of the sanctions are “the Islamic Republic’s redline”.
“Despite their earlier indications that they are ready to remove the sanctions, the US and France have once again shifted course and are adamant to accept any solution raised by the Iranian team for removing the sanctions,” he reiterated.
Also yesterday, Iran’s deputy lead negotiator Seyed Abbas Araqchi underlined Tehran’s unwavering demand for the termination of all sanctions under any possible deal with the six world powers, reiterating that his country insists on the removal of all economic, financial and crude embargoes in the first step.
“We insist that all the economic, financial and crude sanctions be canceled in the first step of the agreement and a specific framework be drawn for (the removal of) those embargoes that are related to other sectors,” Araqchi, also a deputy foreign minister, told the Iranian state-run TV Channel One after seven days of intensive talks with the delegations of the 5+1 group of powers in Lausanne.
“Progress has been made with regard to the removal of the sanctions, but it is not complete yet,” he added.
Araqchi said two or three “key” issues have remained unresolved, cautioning that a final deal will be possible only when the seven nations attain “pragmatic and moderate solutions” to these issues.
“Sanctions are one of these key issues, and research and development is another one, and we hope to conclude discussions over these two issues today,” he continued.
He said the seven nations are likely to conclude their talks after obtaining solutions to all issues today and declare the progress that they have made in a “joint press statement”.
Yet, he reiterated that the declaration will be no more than a “press release on the progresses made in the negotiations” and “it won’t be the final deal as the negotiating parties need to write down the solutions after the present stage”.
“When you find solutions and formulas, then they should be written down in black and white,” Araqchi said.
He said although it is true that the negotiating parties are in talks after the enunciated March 31 deadline, “content is much more important to us than time and deadline”.
“We will never be taken captive by time,” the senior Iranian negotiator said, adding that talks are presently underway at the level of both experts and foreign ministers, although the French, Chinese and German foreign ministers had to leave Lausanne due to their work plans.