Iran, G5+1 Continue Hectic Diplomacy for Final Deal
(FNA)- Representatives of Iran and the Group 5+1 (the US, Russia, China, Britain and France plus Germany) are continuing their talks after over one week of hectic diplomacy to reach a final agreement over Tehran's nuclear program.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton on Thursday conferred on drafting a final nuclear deal on 9th day of negotiations underway in Vienna.
Also Zarif's deputies Majid Takht-e Ravanchi and Seyed Abbas Araqchi are due to discuss the text of the comprehensive agreement with EU foreign policy deputy chief Helga Schmidt and US Undersecretary of State Wendy Sherman on Thursday afternoon.
Reports said on Thursday that the G5+1 diplomats are most likely join their Iranian counterpat and Ashton in Vienna on Friday, adding that US Secretary of State John Kerry, who is currently in Asia, may travel to Vienna over the weekend.
Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marziyeh Afkham said on Wednesday that representatives of Tehran and the six world powers are now dealing with the most controversial points in their disputes over Iran's nuclear program, and expressed hope that the sextet would adopt a realistic view in the talks.
"The issues were categorized and those parts on which both sides had close views were agreed gradually and stage by stage," Afkham told reporters in her weekly press conference in Tehran.
"And now we have come to those issues on which there are fundamental differences and hard, intense and serious talks are being held on them," she added.
Afkham expressed the hope that the world powers would adopt a pragramatic view on Iran's peaceful nuclear program and take a wise decision.
In relevant remarks on Tuesday, Zarif reiterated the Iranian nation's inalienable right to develop peaceful nuclear technology, and said Tehran will never strike a deal with the six world powers which ignores or undermines its rights.
"We do not accept to reach a solution at all costs as we insist on our rights while trying to find an acceptable, logical and long-term solution," Zarif said.
Asked about the future of negotiations between Iran and the world powers, he responded, "I hope that the other side will be ready to see the realities, take our word seriously and accept that the Iranian nation has never withdrawn under pressure."
He noted that the best way for dialogue with the Iranian nation is through respecting and trying to reach mutual understanding with them.
"If they come to this conclusion, which we hope to happen in the coming days, reaching a solution will be possible," Zarif said.
The sixth round of talks between Tehran and the G5+1 headed by Zarif and Ashton officially started in Vienna last week.
Araqchi and Schmidt also held several rounds of talks in Vienna to discuss the draft of a final deal.
In a video message on the eve of the new round of the talks with the six world powers last Wednesday, Zarif asked his counterparts from the sextet not to miss the present opportunity for striking a deal with Iran and putting an end to an unnecessary crisis.
Iran and the Group 5+1 sealed an interim deal in the Swiss city of Geneva on November 24, 2013, to pave the way for a full resolution of their decade-old dispute over the former’s nuclear standoff with the West. The deal came into force on January 20.
Under the Geneva deal, dubbed the Joint Plan of Action, the six countries undertook to provide Iran with some sanctions relief in exchange for Tehran agreeing to limit certain aspects of its nuclear activities during a six-month period.
Zarif told reporters after the previous round of talks with the six world powers held in Vienna on June 16-20 that although the seven nations have started compiling the draft deal, the harsh stance taken by the western powers, which is reflected in their excessive and maximum demands shows that they are not fully ready to enter serious negotiations to attain a final solution to the decade-old standoff.
He stressed that Iran would not give up its rights, and would continue resistance until restoring all its nuclear rights.