“If a general agreement is reached on different issues in the nuclear talks, we still need more time to negotiate the details. Therefore, it is unlikely that we will reach a final deal earlier than the four-month deadline of the talks,” Zarif said on Friday.
He said that Iran and the P5+1 group have made overall progress in the course of nuclear negotiations over the past seven months, adding, however, that the six countries have taken a more “cautious” approach to the talks.
“From the very beginning, we have been of the contention that if there is a strong willpower on the side of the West, nuclear negotiations can bear fruit very soon,” he added.
Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council – the US, France, Britain, Russia and China – plus Germany have been holding talks to sort out their differences and achieve a final deal that would end the decade-old dispute over Iran’s nuclear energy program.
They sealed an interim deal in Geneva, Switzerland, on November 23, 2013. The deal came into force in January and expired six months later.
In July, the two sides agreed on the extension of their discussions until November 24 in an effort to achieve a permanent nuclear deal.
Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham said earlier this month that the two sides will meet ahead of this September’s UN General Assembly meeting in New York.