Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says there is no need for “any U-turn” in ongoing nuclear talks between Iran and the P5+1 group to reach a comprehensive deal over Iran’s nuclear program, Press TV reports.
“There is no need for any U-turns in the negotiations. There is only a need for everybody to recognize that negotiating and putting pressure don’t go hand in hand,” Zarif told Press TV early on Monday.
The top Iranian diplomat added that the six states — Russia, China, France, Britain, the US, and Germany – “need to start reaching an agreement and stop insisting or hoping that pressure will resolve the issue.”
“It’s clear now that they have to respect the Iranian people’s rights,” he added.
Zarif went on to say that the Islamic Republic is prepared to “accept any agreement that is respectful of and reasonable and that will not prevent Iran from developing nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.”
Zarif also said that the talks have become “complicated” and that both sides started “entering into details.” “Currently the general issues in the talks have been defined. The principle of [uranium] enrichment, the need for lifting sanctions and keeping Iran’s nuclear program have been accepted by all sides,” IRNA quoted Zarif as saying. Zarif also described his talks with US Secretary of State Kerry as “straightforward and serious.”
The comments came as Iran and the P5+1 states are making intensive efforts to narrow their differences and pave the way for a final, long-term accord aimed at putting an end to the 12-year-old dispute over Tehran’s nuclear activities.
Political directors of Iran and the P5+1 states wrapped up their talks in Geneva, Switzerland, on Sunday.
The latest talks included lengthy meetings between Zarif and Kerry in Geneva and Paris.
This was the second round of discussions since Tehran and the six world powers failed to work out a permanent nuclear deal by last November’s deadline despite making some progress.
The two sides decided to extend their talks for seven more months until July 1, with the interim deal they had signed in Geneva in November 2013 remaining in place.
Tehran and the six countries now seek to reach a high-level political agreement by March 1 and to confirm the full technical details of the agreement by July 1.
The scale of Iran’s uranium enrichment and the timetable for the lifting of anti-Iran sanctions are seen as major sticking points in the ongoing negotiations.