Source: Tehran Times
Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif
(cartoon by Mohammad Tahani, Arman daily)
Iran and the 5+1 group of world powers gave themselves seven more months to overcome the differences over Iran's nuclear energy program, after they failed on Monday for a second time this year to reach a comprehensive nuclear deal.
They set July 1, 2015 as deadline to strike a comprehensive nuclear accord.
Talking in a joint press conference with European Union envoy Catherine Ashton late on Monday in Vienna, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said the deal can be struck sooner than the July 1 deadline.
"All of us are insisting that we don't even need seven months, and we believe we can do it much faster than that, and we decided -- because sometimes we diplomats try to wait until the last month before we start really negotiating, because we believe that until you get to the last minute you don't really want to really give up your cards -- but this time we have decided that we'd start negotiating immediately," Zarif noted.
"The major obstacle was that there is a compounded mistrust, mutual," Zarif said when asked by reporters about the main obstacle in this round of negotiations.
Reuters said on Monday that Western officials said they were aiming to secure an agreement on the substance of a final accord by March but that more time would be needed to reach a consensus on the all-important technical details, for which the deadline will be July 1.
"We intend to build on the current momentum in order to complete these negotiations within the shortest possible time, up to four months, and if necessary to use the remaining time until the end of June to finalize any possible remaining technical and drafting work," said Ashton, who coordinates the negotiations on behalf of the global powers.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton at a press conference in Vienna at the end of this round of negotiations.
(photo by Ehsan Naderipour, Islamic Republic News Agency)
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has said that nuclear talks will finally lead to a comprehensive agreement between Iran and the major powers.
Rouhani, who spoke after Iran and the 5+1 group (the U.S., Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany) agreed to extend talks until July 1, 2015, evaluated the latest round of nuclear talks in Vienna as "positive".
The talks were concluded in Vienna on Monday.
In his election campaign in 2013, Rouhani had said that both "centrifuges" and people's "wheel of life" should both be "rotating".
"Centrifuges will not stop rotating and wheel of the people's life will rotate better," he told the national TV on Monday night.
"Today, Iran is in a situation that nobody says sanctions against Iran should be tightened to make the country accept what is said by the 5+1 group,... instead they say more time should be spent and more talks held to reach an agreement and this is a great achievement for the path that the Iranian great people have taken on June 15 and created that political epic," Rouhani stated.
Rouhani was elected as the president of Iran on June 15, 2013.
The president also said there have been "progresses" in talks behind "closed doors".
Elsewhere in his remarks, the Iranian president stated that Iran pursues two objectives in nuclear talks which are "preserving nuclear technology" and "removing of sanctions".
Rouhani said that the 5+1 group basically agreed that the sanctions should be lifted, adding when and how to remove sanctions is under discussion.
'Sanctions and pressure will lead to no result'
The whole world knows that imposition of sanctions and exertion of pressure will lead to no result, Rouhai said.
He added that Iran has chosen the path of interaction with the world which is the right path and this will bear result.
Although no final agreement has been achieved, some steps toward a final deal have been taken, he said.
"Iranian people will achieve the final victory and I have no doubt about success of the path that we have chosen. There is no way for the world except holding talks with the Iranian people's representatives and this path of talks will lead to final agreement," Rouhani stated.
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