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Common Understanding Necessary for N-Talks to Bear Fruit

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says “common understanding” is needed for the nuclear negotiations to bear fruit.

Zarif said Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council– the United States, France, Britain, Russia, China – plus Germany may need to extend the July 20 deadline for drafting a final nuclear deal as they need to reach a “common understanding” regarding the content of the agreement.

He added that the two sides have discussed and worked on all the issues, but they “have not yet reached a final and definite outcome.”

The Iranian foreign minister made the comments after holding another meeting with EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton in the Austrian capital of Vienna earlier in the day.

Zarif further described the negotiations on Iran’s nuclear energy program as “difficult,” adding, however, that some progress has been made in the discussions.

If Tehran and its negotiating partners agree to the extension of nuclear negotiations, the discussions will continue until November 24 as stipulated in last year’s interim deal, according to Zarif.

The Iranian foreign minister has said that the nuclear talks would continue seriously until Sunday. Officials from both negotiating sides have said that despite progress made in the latest round of negotiations significant gaps still remain between the two sides.

The Iranian Foreign Minister has dismissed reports about an agreement on the suspension of the nuclear talks between Iran and the P5+1 group.

“No decision has been made and what has been said is speculation,” Zarif said.

“We are prepared to negotiate with the other side until July 20, and any time we feel the talks have reached a point where they should be halted or continued in another form, we will be ready [for that], but such a decision has not been made yet,” Zarif said.

The top Iranian diplomat said negotiations between Iran and the six countries are ongoing, adding, “We are now focusing on substantive discussions such as sanctions and the possibility of extending the talks.”

The Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that talks might continue between the two sides beyond a July 20 deadline.

"I see an inclination on the part of our negotiating partners that they believe more time may be useful and necessary," said the Iranian foreign minister, adding, “Everybody needs to make a choice not just Iran. It’s for everyone to make the choice and I hope everyone would make the right choice, because this opportunity will not be repeated in the near future.”

Iran’s Foreign Minister said the United States must take a “political decision” to end the “current deadlock” in the ongoing talks in Vienna over Tehran’s nuclear energy program.

The Iranian minister said Washington needs to take a political decision about the available solutions and those solutions that will prepare the ground for an agreement.

He added that he held “good” discussions with Kerry and it is now for political experts to hold talks over serious topics.

The Iranian minister stated that the main goal of negotiating parties is to make efforts to end the existing “illogical” deadlock.

The Iranian Foreign Minister also said “important headway” has been made in the talks on Iran’s nuclear energy program, stressing, however, that the negotiations have yet to bear fruit.

Zarif said he had held about five hours of discussions with all representatives of the P5+1 group – the US, France, Britain, Russia, China and Germany – over Tehran’s nuclear energy program in the Austrian capital of Vienna.

The chief Iranian diplomat further stated that Tehran and its negotiating sides have not reached any final nuclear agreement so far, but that all parties have shown willingness to find a solution to the decade-old dispute over Iran’s civilian nuclear work.

“We haven’t resolved any problem, but we have made some important headway in probably removing some of the misconceptions and moving forward with making more serious decisions,” he said.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said the Islamic Republic has no interest in developing nuclear weapons.

“We don’t see any benefit in Iran developing a nuclear weapon,” Zarif said.

The top Iranian diplomat noted that Tehran is trying to convince the world that it is not seeking nukes, adding, “I will commit to everything and anything that would provide credible assurances for the international community that Iran is not seeking nuclear weapons, because we are not.”

He went on to say that nuclear weapons would not empower Iran, but reduce its influence in the region.

The Iranian foreign minister stated that having nukes does not “help anybody.”

“The politics of geography -- the fact that we’re bigger, the fact that we’re stronger, that we’re more populous, the fact that we have a better technology, the fact that our human resources are by far more developed than most of our neighbors -- all of these provide us with inherent areas of strength that we don’t need to augment with other capabilities,” Zarif stated.

He said nuclear weapons “or no amount of military power makes you safe,” adding, “So we need to live in a different paradigm. And that’s what we are calling for.”

Iran's Foreign Minister has also called on the P5+1 countries to show good faith in the ongoing nuclear negotiations aimed at reaching a final agreement, saying "trust is a two-way street."

"I won't engage in blame games or spin. Not my style. What I will engage in is a sincere effort to come to an agreement. I expect the same,” Zarif said.

The Iranian minister stressed the importance of addressing concerns of all sides in order to reach a comprehensive nuclear agreement.

"We're able to make history by this time next Sunday,” he added.

Iran has rejected a proposal by the six major world powers for partial suspension of sanctions as a preliminary step before their full removal, a senior Iranian nuclear negotiator says.

"If they expect irreversible measures from Iran, they should do irreversible measures too, and sanctions should be removed all together," Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs Abbas Araqchi said.

"They prefer to suspend the sanctions first then lifting; but this is the concept we don't accept," he added.

The diplomat emphasized that Iran desires full removal of all sanctions “at once” but the fact is that the sides need a timetable to determine the measures they should carry out.

“So how to match these measures in a timeline itself is a difficult job," he added.

*Photo Credit: Fars News Agency

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