Geneva: Negotiation Goes Tough as Diplomats Bargain over Words of Final Deal

13920829000697_PhotoIA senior negotiator in the talks with the world powers said Iran and the Group 5+1 (the five permanent UN Security Council members plus Germany) are having tough debates over the words of a final agreement which could end the decade-long standoff between the two sides.
“Difficult and intensive negotiations are underway and it is not clear if we will achieve the results tonight or not,” Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Seyed Abbas Araqchi told reporters in Geneva on Saturday afternoon.

Araqchi said the negotiating teams of Iran and the world powers are having debates about the details of the issues which should be addressed in the final deal.

Yet, the senior negotiator voiced pleasure in the progress of the talks, saying, “Better progress has been made today compared with yesterday.”

Top foreign policy officials of Iran, EU and the US ended a trilateral meeting in Geneva Saturday afternoon as a possible nuclear deal is now even more in sight.

The meeting among Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, US Secretary of State John Kerry and EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton lasted almost two hours.

There are yet no reports on the issues discussed during the trilateral meeting, but analysts believe that the three officials met each other to make the last coordination for striking a deal between Tehran and the world powers.

The meeting was held after British Foreign Secretary William Hague, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his French, US, German and Chinese counterparts Laurent Fabius, John Kerry, Guido Westerwelle and Wang Yi traveled to Geneva on Friday and Saturday to hold a high-profile meeting with Zarif over a final deal on Iran’s nuclear program.

The Iranian and the Group 5+1 delegations have gathered in Geneva for the third time in the last few months and been holding intense negotiations since Wednesday to find a way for the settlement of Tehran’s nuclear standoff with the West.

Zarif told reporters after four rounds of talks with Ashton in Geneva on Friday that negotiations have become serious and hopes for striking a deal are still alive.

Also, Westerwelle who arrived in Geneva earlier today announced that Iran and the G5+1 now have a “real chance” for resolving their decade-long nuclear standoff.

“There is a real chance for an agreement, but we have many things to do,” Westerwelle told reporters upon arrival at Geneva’s Intercontinental Hotel where the negotiations are underway between Iran and the world powers.

Also, a senior Iranian negotiator expressed the hope that the top diplomats of the Group 5+1 who have arrived in Geneva in the last two days for a final deal over Tehran’s nuclear program will be ready to take hard decisions to enable the negotiations to move forward.

“The fourth day of negotiations is hard and breathtaking,” Deputy Foreign Minister and Senior Negotiator in the talks with the world powers Seyed Abbas Araqchi said in Geneva on Saturday.

“The foreign ministers (of the G5+1) have arrived and I hope that they will be ready for taking hard decisions,” he added.

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