Nuclear talks near final steps: German foreign minister


German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier says the ongoing negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program are in the “endgame.”

“We are facing decisive days ahead. After almost 12 years of negotiations with Iran, now the last ‘match’ of the negotiations begins,” Steinmeier told reporters in the Swiss city of Lausanne on Saturday.

The German diplomat, who joined the talks on Saturday, expressed hope that the negotiating sides could press ahead with their efforts to reach a final agreement over Tehran’s nuclear work.

“I just hope that, regarded what we have reached in the last 12 months, we don’t cancel’ the attempt to get to a final deal. I believe, after the serious negotiating will showed in the last 12 months, every effort is necessary to reach a comprehensive result,” Steinmeier said.

The top German diplomat said a final agreement over Iran’s nuclear program could contribute to restoration of peace in the Middle East region.

The German foreign minister made the remarks before joining his US, French and Iranian counterparts in Lausanne for talks on Tehran’s nuclear program.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius also arrived in the Swiss city on Saturday to join the nuclear talks.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius (L) arrives on March 28, 2015 for nuclear talks with Iran in Lausanne. © AFP
Senior negotiators from Iran and the United States kicked off another day of their latest round of talks on Tehran’s nuclear program in Lausanne on Saturday.

Iranian deputy foreign ministers Abbas Araqchi and Majid Takht-e Ravanchi held talks with US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman in that regard.

The three later joined Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and US Secretary of State John Kerry for talks to find solutions to outstanding issues ahead of a deadline for a comprehensive agreement between Iran and the P5+1 group of countries on Tehran’s nuclear program.

US Secretary of State John Kerry (1st L), US Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz (2nd L), the head of the Iranian Atomic Energy Organization Ali Akbar Salehi (2nd R) and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif (1st R) wait with others for a meeting at the Beau Rivage Palace Hotel in Lausanne, Switzerland, March 28, 2015. ©AFP
Iran and the P5+1 countries – the US, Britain, France, Russia and China plus Germany — have been in talks to resolve outstanding issues surrounding Tehran’s nuclear activities to pave the way for striking an overarching deal on the country’s nuclear energy program as a deadline slated for July 1 draws closer.

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