Technical, political differences remain in nuclear talks: Zarif
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says both technical and political differences remain between Iran and the P5+1, saying, however, that the two sides are working to narrow the differences.
Zarif told IRIB on Saturday that there are still various sticking points in the ongoing negotiations on Iran’s nuclear program, adding that in the upcoming sessions of the talks, “attempts will be made to reduce these differences to a minimum.”
Progress over the differences will be reviewed in a next ministerial meeting, he said.
Iran and the P5+1 countries have been negotiating to reach a comprehensive deal over the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program. The two sides have been working on the text of the potential deal ever since they reached mutual understanding on its parameters in the Swiss city of Lausanne on April 2.
Recent rounds have seen intensive work by both sides to address remaining differences ahead of a June 30 deadline, set by the negotiating sides themselves.
Zarif met with US Secretary of State John Kerry in Geneva, Switzerland, on Saturday following a round of talks at the deputy level in Vienna. The ministerial meeting was held to review the work done and to further push the talks forward.
More talks planned
Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Seyyed Abbas Araqchi said Saturday that the next round of the talks will be held on Thursday in the Austrian city of Vienna, with deputies and experts from Iran and the P5+1 in attendance.
In his Saturday remarks, Zarif further referred to the recent remarks by Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei that Iran will not allow inspections of its military sites or interviews with its nuclear scientists as part of a potential deal with the P5+1. Zarif said Iran’s negotiating partners have already been notified of the stance.
“It’s been agreed to explore other mechanisms,” Zarif said.
The Iranian foreign minister emphasized once again that the P5+1 should avoid making excessive demands in the course of the negotiations with Iran.
US Secretary of State Kerry on Saturday described his talks with Zarif as “very constructive,” saying the negotiations were the most substantive and the toughest since the Lausanne understanding.
Meanwhile, a senior US official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, described the latest talks as “intense at times, but very focused and very comprehensive,” according to The New York Times.