Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has told Press TV that the West, especially the United States, must choose between reaching a nuclear deal with Iran or continuation of sanctions, as these two cannot go hand in hand.
In an exclusive interview with Press TV reporter in the Swiss city of Montreux on Wednesday, Zarif said if the West really seeks to reach an agreement with Iran over Tehran’s nuclear program, there is no need to continue with sanctions.
The Iranian top diplomat further noted that a serious problem on the way of an agreement is the great deal of pressure exerted by scaremongers, who are trying to create impediments on the way of negotiators.
Referring to the latest round of nuclear talks between Iran and the P5+1 countries – the US, the UK, France, Germany, China and Russia – Zarif said the negotiating sides have made serious headway in this round of talks.
Explaining about Iran’s red lines during negotiations, Zarif said, “Our red line is that we will not accept imposition. We will not accept trampling on the rights of our people. At the same time, we do not want anything more than what is legally ours and that is to move forward with a peaceful nuclear program and with the removal of international pressures against Iran.”
The Iranian foreign minister stated that although gaps still remain between negotiating sides by “We’re not far from [the final] deal.”
The latest round of the nuclear talks ended in Montreux, Switzerland, on Wednesday. The three-day negotiations were headed by Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and US Secretary of State John Kerry.
Representatives of Iran and the United States had also held three rounds of intense negotiations in the Swiss city of Geneva on February 22-23 to bridge their differences ahead of a July 1 deadline for Iran and the P5+1 group – Russia, China, France, Britain, the United States and Germany – to reach a comprehensive nuclear deal.
The talks were attended by head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, Ali Akbar Salehi, US Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, Iranian Deputy Foreign Ministers Abbas Araqchi and Majid Takht-e Ravanchi, US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman, and European Union deputy foreign policy chief, Helga Schmid in addition to Hossein Fereydoun, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s special aide.
An informed source close to Iran’s negotiating team told Press TV reporter that the next round of talks at ministerial level has been slated for March 15-20.
The fourth round was preceded by technical discussions between Salehi and Moniz.
Iran and the P5+1 have already missed two deadlines for inking a final agreement since they signed an interim one in the Swiss city of Geneva last November.