Iranian foreign minister describes talks with Ashton as positive

Zarif in Vienna
Zarif in Vienna

Iran’s foreign minister has described his talks with P5+1 chief negotiator Catherine Ashton in Vienna as positive, saying the progress of the talks depends on the other party’s political will.

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and the country’s chief nuclear negotiator said his talks with P5+1 chief negotiator Catherine Ashton in Vienna were positive.

“We had good negotiations but the progress (of the talks with world powers) will depend on the political will of the other side,” Zarif told reporters after attending a working lunch in the Austrian capital of Vienna on Tuesday.

Zarif and Ashton met to discuss how to hold the final round of talks on Tehran’s peaceful nuclear program in the following days.

Diplomats from Iran and P5+1 (Russia, China, the US, Britain, France and Germany) are in Vienna to hammer out a final, long-awaited agreement to resolve the West’s decade-old standoff over Iran’s civilian nuclear work.

Earlier on Tuesday, Zarif expressed hope that this round of nuclear negotiations would mark a “national victory” for the Iranian nation and result in the achievement of Iran’s objectives.

Tehran and the world powers on November 24, 2013, signed an interim nuclear deal in the Swiss city of Geneva.

The Geneva deal (the Joint Plan of Action) came into effect in January and expired in July, when the parties decided to extend negotiations until November 24 in the hope of clinching a final, lasting accord.

Media reports said the main stumbling block in the way of resolving the Western dispute over Iran’s nuclear energy program remains to be the removal of all the bans imposed on the country, and the scope of the uranium enrichment.

Tehran wants the sanctions entirely lifted while Washington, under pressure from the pro-Israeli lobby, insists that at least the UN-imposed sanctions should remain in place.

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