Nuclear talks may continue beyond June 30 deadline: Zarif


Iran’s foreign minister says Tehran is not pressed for time in reaching a nuclear agreement with the P5+1 group, adding that the talks are very likely to continue beyond the self-imposed June 30 deadline.

“We believe that a good agreement should be reached so it means that we do not feel pressed for time,” Mohammad Javad Zarif said in an interview with an Iranian daily published on Saturday.

The senior Iranian official said Tehran and its negotiating partners might need more time to secure an agreement but rejected an extension for the negotiations.

The June 30 deadline could be pushed forward a few days until a final agreement is reached, he added.

“We want to proceed with [the talks] until we reach a conclusion. This is, in my opinion, a better approach than extending [the negotiations],” Zarif said.

Zarif further criticized that the six world powers for making excessive demands in the course of talks, stressing, however, that Iran will not cave in to their pressures.

“We have proved that we will stand up to excessive demands,” Zarif stated.

Representatives from Iran and the P5+1 – the United States, the UK, France, China and Russia plus Germany – are holding extensive talks to finalize the text of a possible deal over Tehran’s nuclear program by end this month.

The two sides seek to reach a comprehensive final deal based on the mutual understanding on the key parameters agreed upon in the Swiss city of Lausanne on April 2.

On Saturday, Iranian Deputy Foreign Ministers Abbas Araqchi and Majid Takht-e-Ravanchi sat down with European Union Political Director Helga Schmid to continue talks on the draft of the text of a final deal. Wendy Sherman, who is under secretary of state for political affairs at the US State Department, then joined the talks in the Austrian city of Vienna.

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