Seyed Abbas Araqchi’s was reacting to comments by US Under Secretary of State Wendy Sherman who had cited “significant and steady” progress in Iran nuclear talks.
“We’ve exchanged ideas, narrowed gaps on key issues, and identified areas where more hard work is required,” Xinhua quoted Sherman as telling senators at a hearing.
The top Iranian nuclear negotiator played down the remarks and said:
no deal has been made on any specific issue in the course of negotiations, including Arak heavy water reactor or Fordow nuclear site.
Basically, there has been no agreement on any of the topics, and differences still remain, Araqchi underlined.
“The only criterion for the Islamic Republic is the country’s needs, and during the talks, decisions are made exclusively according to the country’s needs,” Araghchi said.
On July 18, after more than two weeks of intensive diplomatic negotiations in the Austrian capital of Vienna, Iran and the Group 5+1 (also known as P5+1 or E3+3) agreed to continue talks on Tehran’s nuclear program for another four months.
The two sides decided to extend the nuclear talks until November 24 in the hope of clinching a final deal to resolve the decade-long standoff over Iran’s nuclear energy program.
Iran and the sextet on November 24, 2013, signed an interim nuclear deal in the Swiss city of Geneva.
The breakthrough agreement (the Joint Plan of Action), which came into effect on January 20, had given the parties extendable six months to draw up a comprehensive nuclear deal.