Sunday, June 23, 2024

Iranian official: Some difficult issues in nuclear talks still remain unsolved

As the nuclear negotiations aimed at salvaging the 2015 nuclear deal have reportedly reached their final stage, an Iranian official says some 30% of difficult issues in Vienna negotiations remain to be resolved but it is possible to reach an agreement within weeks.

A senior Iranian official told Reuters that “some 30% of difficult issues remain to be resolved but it is possible to reach a deal by early March”.

A second Iranian official said Tehran was also insisting on being able to seal and store its advanced centrifuges inside Iran, rather than dismantling and sending them abroad, as Western powers have called for.

He added Tehran further wants the removal of some 300 extra sanctions on Iranian entities and individuals not related to the nuclear deal.

A Western diplomat has also stated “reaching a deal is possible around early March, if all goes well”.

On Monday, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian called on the US and the West to stop playing with time and wording in the Vienna talks.

He stated Iran is in a rush to reach a good deal with the P4+1 and achieve the rights of the Iranian people within the framework of logical negotiations.

The foreign minister has emphasized that if an agreement is reached in Vienna today and the sanctions on the Islamic Republic of Iran are lifted, it is better for the country than for this to happen tomorrow.

The Iranian foreign minister added that the Western parties to the Vienna talks should show determination to return to their compliance with the nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, JCPOA.

Amir Abdollahian also said the US officials in their messages to Iran speak of their goodwill to reach an agreement, but “we have yet to see a concrete measure from their side”. He added that Tehran believes that a good deal is at hand in a short term.

Earlier, a senior US official had noted that major issues on the table remain unresolved.

Negotiations are both “closer than we have been to a deal”, in that some progress has been made, and “closer than we have been to breakdown”, as time for agreement runs out, the official added.

“Both outcomes are still very possible,” the official continued.

Western leaders say time is running out for a viable accord. The US administration has also announced that only a “handful” of weeks remain before ongoing advances in Iran’s nuclear program will make agreement impossible.

Iran, Russia and China have pushed back on the need to establish a fixed deadline for the nuclear negotiations to conclude. Iranian officials have rejected western diplomats’ remarks about a deadline for reaching an agreement in Vienna talks, and stressed Tehran is only after a good agreement.

Foreign Ministry Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh stated on Monday “talks are not at a dead end…Iran has already taken its political decision by staying in the deal despite the US withdrawal”.

Intensive diplomatic talks continue in the Austrian capital of Vienna between Iran and the P4+1 group of countries to discuss all possible ways to salvage the 2015 nuclear deal by removing all sanctions imposed by Washington against Tehran.

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