Iranian Diplomat Calls on West to Stop Excessive Demands in Nuclear Talks
(FNA)- A senior diplomat close to the Iranian team of negotiators in the Vienna nuclear talks with the world powers urged the Western states to stop their excessive demands, reiterating that Iran is standing firm on its rights.
"The West should give up its excessive demands and gather a precise assessment of the realities existing on the ground," the diplomat told FNA in Vienna on Friday afternoon, stressing that the policy of pressuring Iran has always proved futile and backfired.
The source said the Iranian negotiators have come to Vienna to establish the nation's rights, reiterating that they would never retreat along this path.
He said "difference in views, specially around such a vital discussion as Iran's nuclear issue, is considered to be natural", but "given the recent developments, the western states are displaying that they are not practicing the pragmatism that seemed to have developed in them to a certain level".
Yet, the diplomat underlined that "the window of opportunity is still open for the western parties to step onto the realm of pragmatism".
Meantime, this informed source rejected the reports released by some western media outlets about the contents and topics of differences in the Vienna talks, stressing that such reports are "media speculations that lack authenticity and credit".
Senior diplomats of Iran and the six world powers have convened in Vienna since Wednesday to have another round of talks on a permanent and final solution to their nuclear standoff.
The Iranian negotiators have had several rounds of bilateral talks with the delegations of the EU and the Group 5+1 (the five permanent UN Security Council members plus Germany), including a rather lengthy meeting with the US team, in the last three days.
When Iran's lead negotiator and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, and his team of aides and experts, arrived in Vienna, he told reporters Tehran would participate in the talks with firm determination.
"We have come here with a decisive will" and seek to defend the Iranian nation's nuclear rights, Zarif said.
Noting that Iran and the G5+1 are scheduled to hold three other rounds of talks by July 20, he said none of the seven delegations has prepared any draft agreement, although they have certain issues in mind.
Then after two days of talks with the top negotiators of the sextet, Zarif hoped that the opposite parties would be as determined as Tehran for striking a final nuclear deal in Vienna.
"The will is the most important parameter for success in any negotiation and we are determined and we hope that our counterparts will also be the same," Zarif wrote on his Twitter page on Friday morning.
On Thursday, Iran's Deputy Chief Negotiator Seyed Abbas Araqchi said the nuclear talks in the Austrian capital are slow and difficult, although dominated by an atmosphere of good will.
Earlier on Thursday, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton's Spokesman Michael Mann voiced satisfaction in the outcomes of the morning meeting between Zarif and Ashton, saying the talks have been "useful".
"Well, it was a useful meeting," Mann said in a phone interview with FNA on Thursday afternoon.
Diplomatic sources told FNA that the talks will end tonight.
The negotiations between Tehran and the Group 5+1 are part of efforts to seal a final deal on Iran’s nuclear energy program.
On November 24, Iran and the Group 5+1 sealed a six-month Joint Plan of Action to lay the groundwork for the full resolution of the West’s decade-old dispute with Iran over the latter's nuclear energy program.
In exchange for Tehran’s confidence-building bid to limit certain aspects of its nuclear activities, the sextet of the world powers agreed to lift some of the existing sanctions against Tehran and impose no nuclear-related sanctions on Iran during the six-month period.
Following the breakthrough interim agreement, Iran and the sextet accepted to send their senior negotiating teams to monthly meetings to discuss a final and comprehensive deal until July. If the seven nations fail to agree on a final deal by then, the Geneva interim agreement will be extended for another 6 months.
Since the November agreement, the seven delegations have met several times, including the last round in Vienna on April 8 and 9.
At the beginning of the last round of the talks on April 8, the Iranian Foreign Ministry issued a statement reiterating that its team of negotiators would not discuss any topic but the country's nuclear standoff with the West in its talks with the six world powers.
The present round of the talks is the first Iran-powers meeting focused on drafting a final deal.