Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif announced that Iran and the Group 5+1 have begun drafting a final deal on the Islamic Republic’s nuclear energy program.
The Iranian foreign minister said that the two sides had difficult discussion over the past two days. “Some stances of the other side are completely unacceptable,” Zarif said.
Zarif made the announcement on Wednesday as talks continued between the two sides in the Austrian capital Vienna. Zarif said the drafting began despite a number of differences that yet remained unresolved.
Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Sayyed Abbas Araqchi accompanied by Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for European and American affairs Majid Takht Ravanchi and EU foreign policy deputy chief Helga Schmidt held a round of talks in Vienna on Wednesday.
The meeting was followed by multilateral and bilateral talks among the members of the G5+1 started, IRNA said.
Speaking to reporters on Tuesday night after holding negotiations with the representatives of the G5+1, Araqchi described the atmosphere of the talks as positive, and said drafting the final deal between the two sides would possibly start on Wednesday.
He pointed to the presence of US Deputy Secretary of State William Burns in this round of talks and his meeting with Zarif in the presence of EU foreign policy chief Catherin Ashton in Vienna on Monday, and said the US delegation is headed by Wendy Sherman, but the presence of Mr. Burns was useful and it may be repeated in future.
Asked if the US has been serious in the talks with Iran, Araqchi said, “We didn’t see any (negative) sign in the American side to think that they intend to prolong the negotiations. The American side is serious to have the negotiations yield results by July 20 and if not the American delegation will face difficulties in the negotiations and the American team is determined to reach an understanding.”
Under the deal, dubbed the Geneva Joint Plan of Action, the six countries undertook to provide Iran with some sanctions relief in exchange for Iran agreeing to limit certain aspects of its nuclear activities during a six-month period. It was also agreed that no nuclear-related sanctions will be imposed on Iran within the same timeframe. The agreement took effect on January 20.