“We have made progress, new ideas have been put on the table,” Steinmeier said on Monday at the end of seven days of talks between Iran and the six countries over Tehran’s nuclear program.
“The ideas have the capacity to bridge several differences that are still there. But because there are technical details, we have to say that the new ideas must be tested by experts,” he added.
The German minister said Iran and the P5+1 failed to bridge all the gaps but they are in the “right direction” and the atmosphere of the Vienna talks has been very constructive.
He urged the two sides to make use of the chance they have made in order to end a decade-long dispute over Iran’s nuclear issue.
“We are hoping to use this chance but we also have a responsibility not only towards ourselves but also towards all states in the world and the region and countries which have justifiable concerns about Iran’s nuclear program,” Steinmeier added.
He emphasized that both Iran and the P5+1 should resume intensive talks in the coming days and weeks, noting that a few months should be used to reach a framework that can later be complemented by a few details.
“But that at this moment, nobody is disappointed at the talks and I think all the participating parties believe there’s a chance to reach an agreement,” the German minister pointed out.
Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Monday that “substantial progress” has been made in the Vienna nuclear talks but Iran and the P5+1 have failed to reach a final agreement.
“Substantial progress was made,” Lavrov said, adding that he expects the sides would manage to agree on the “basic principles” of a final document in three or four months.
The nuclear talks between Iran and the so-called P5+1 group of countries – Russia, China, France, Britain, the US and Germany — ended in Vienna on Monday with the two sides agreeing to extend the Joint Plan of Action, which they signed last November, to July 1, 2015.