Iran, Powers to Likely Hold Landmark N. Meeting in Vienna at 9 pm
The foreign ministers of Iran and the Group 5+1 (the US, Russia, China, Britain and France plus Germany) are much likely to hold a final decisive meeting at 9pm (Vienna time) to decide the fate of the long-awaited final nuclear deal, sources said.
“There could be an important meeting between Iran and the G5+1 at 9 pm (Vienna time) (11:30 pm Tehran time),” informed sources told FNA on Monday.
If held, the meeting will mark the end of negotiations, although no one, including the negotiators do not yet know if the final result of the meeting would be a deal.
Some sources have also raised the possibility of further extension of the talks until September, but senior Iranian negotiators and diplomats have rejected any possibility for the further extension of the talks.
Iran and the G5+1 are in the final phase of their last round of talks in Vienna to draft a final deal to end their over-a-decade-long nuclear standoff.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said nonstop negotiations between Iran and the six world powers may continue, but there won’t be any extension of the talks in Vienna.
“We believe that nuclear talks between Iran and the six major world powers should not be extended anymore, but we can carry on work as long as it is needed,” Zarif said during a meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Vienna on Monday.
Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister and senior negotiator Seyed Abbas Araqchi said today that he doesn’t know if the remaining differences between Tehran and the world powers would be resolved or not.
“The negotiations have reached the last breathtaking moments and there are still certain problems. We cannot say that we have reached an agreement while the problems are still in place,” Araqchi told the state-run TV on Monday.
“Yet, I cannot promise that the problems will be resolved tonight or tomorrow night,” he added.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif complained on Friday that change in the stances of the world powers and their excessive demands have prevented attainment of a nuclear deal, and called on the western powers to make up their minds and choose between striking a final deal and keeping the sanctions.
“We have reached a stage now that the other side should decide if it is seeking an agreement or pressure; we have said many times that agreement and pressure cannot come together and one of them should be chosen,” Zarif told reporters in Vienna.
He reiterated that if the other side shows political will and inclination for a balanced and good deal it will be achievable.
Zarif, however, said that unfortunately the other side is showing change in stances and raising excessive demands which make the conditions difficult, adding, “We are doing our best as Supreme Leader (of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei) and other Iranian officials have said many times we are looking for a good deal and we will continue the negotiations; we have never left the negotiations and we will not in future.”
Late on Thursday night, diplomatic sources in Vienna cautioned that the western powers have toughened their stances after the US lost a self-imposed deadline for a deal with Iran and are raising even more demands from the Iranian team.
The source said the western parties to the talks with Iran, specially the US, have in the last few days raised excessive demands beyond earlier agreements, making the road to a draft final nuclear deal even more bumpy.
The source said Iran is determined to clinch a deal and it has shown much flexibility on this path, but the US-led West has been raising excessive demands and shows “fading respect for its earlier agreements with Iran”.
“They have started psychological operations and are playing the blame game to make Iran surrender to their increasing demands or wait to be portrayed as the party to blame for the potential failure of the talks,” the diplomat added.
The source also strongly rejected the allegations made by certain western media outlets that the Iranian team is referring the opposite sides’ proposals or the draft text to Tehran to ask for permission, reiterating that “the Iranian team of negotiators have been vested with full authority to strike a deal on behalf of the Islamic Republic of Iran based on the country’s specified redlines, and does not need to refer anything to Tehran.”
The diplomat strongly warned the western powers’ approach in the last few days “is pushing the talks into a deadlock”.
The Geneva interim deal envisaged the removal of all the UN and unilateral US and EU sanctions against Iran under a final comprehensive deal.
Also, in a framework agreement approved by the six powers and Iran in April known as the Lausanne Statement, the seven nations agreed that a final deal would include removal of all sanctions as well as a UN Security Council resolution which would call all the five UNSC sanctions resolutions imposed against Iran’s nuclear activities as “null and void”.
The first two UNSC resolutions boycotted export of military, specially missile, hardware and software to Iran, a sanction that – along with all the other embargoes imposed against Iran under the five UNSC resolutions – would be automatically removed under the new UNSC resolution that, according to the Lausanne framework agreement, should be issued on the same day that the final deal is endorsed.
Hence, the debate over the removal of the UN Security Council arms embargoes against Iran means US defiance of both agreements.