A top Iranian negotiator in nuclear talks with the P5+1 group says the Islamic Republic and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany have not reached an agreement on major issues.
Speaking to reporters on Friday, Abbas Araqchi, who is also Iran’s deputy foreign minister for legal and international affairs, said although a preliminary understanding exists between the two sides, they are still discordant on major issues.
“We have not yet arrived at a mutual understanding that can serve as the basis of an agreement,” but there has been progress with regard to the details of technical issues, Araqchi added.
“We are absolutely ready to make the negotiations work out, and the same resolve can be seen in the other side as well. Naturally, they have their own stances and we have our own and it takes time to bring them close,” the Iranian official said.
The official noted that Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, his American counterpart, John Kerry and EU’s foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, held a tripartite negotiation on anti-Iran sanctions.
“As you know, sanctions is one of the main topics [of negotiations] and these sanctions have been for the most part imposed [on Iran] by the United States or Europe. As a result, most of our talks are with the United States and Europe,” Araqchi noted.
He noted that the tripartite meeting has been relatively constructive, adding, “This can be a good sign that a common understanding will be probably reached at.”
Earlier on Friday, Araqchi said nuclear negotiations between Iran and the six countries – the United States, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany – have reached a breathtaking point and both sides have entered into many details.
Acknowledging that the two sides are still divided over “key issues,” Araqchi said, “We will by no means leave the negotiating table, but will not retreat an iota from Iran’s rights either.”
Iran and the six countries clinched an interim deal in Geneva, Switzerland, last November. The agreement took effect on January 20 and expired six months later. In July, they agreed to extend the negotiations until November 24.