No final nuclear deal being drafted yet, says Iran FM Zarif
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says Iran and the P5+1 group have not drafted the text of a final agreement over the Islamic Republic’s nuclear energy program yet.
Following a meeting with EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton in Vienna on Monday, Zarif described drafting the final agreement as “one of the most difficult” parts of the work ahead of Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council – Russia, China, France, Britain and the US – plus Germany.
“Preparing a draft [agreement] is itself one of the most difficult parts, which we face in the tough future negotiations,” the top Iranian diplomat said.
Iran and the six world powers are set to resume the next round of their high-level talks in Vienna on Tuesday. The negotiations are slated to last until Wednesday.
The Iranian foreign minister said that Tehran and the P5+1 are scheduled to exchange views on all remaining issues on Tuesday morning in order to be able to start drafting a final accord in the next round of the talks, scheduled to be held in the Austrian capital in mid-May.
Zarif described his Monday meeting with Ashton as “useful,” saying that, “We discussed the manner of continuing the negotiations and the remaining issues in this phase [of the talks].”
He added that both sides agreed on the necessity of continuing on the basis of mutual respect.
Iran and the six world powers have been negotiating to fully resolve the dispute over the Islamic Republic’s nuclear energy program. The two sides reached an interim deal on November 24, 2013, in the Swiss city of Geneva. The deal took effect on January 20.