TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Envoy to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Reza Najafi on Monday rejected a report by an Arab media outlet quoting him as saying that Iran and the six world powers have agreed to extend their talks for six more months after the July deadline.
“The report released by al-Horrah news website about the extension of the time for negotiations between Iran and the Group 5+1 (the US, Russia, China, Britain and France plus Germany) is incorrect,” Najafi told FNA on Monday.
Al-Horrah claimed that Najafi had told a meeting of the representatives of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) in Vienna that the negotiations between Tehran and the world powers would possibly continue for six more months after the stated July deadline.
On November 24, Iran and the world powers sealed a six-month Joint Plan of Action to lay the groundwork for the full resolution of the West’s decade-old dispute with Iran over its nuclear energy program. In exchange for Tehran’s confidence-building bid to limit certain aspects of its nuclear activities, the Sextet of world powers agreed to lift some of the existing sanctions against Tehran and continue talks with the country to settle all problems between the two sides.
Then after several rounds of experts talks on how to enforce the agreement, Iran and the six major world powers finalized an agreement on ways to implement the deal.
Eventually on January 20, a confidential report by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said that Iran has halted its 20-percent enrichment activity under the Geneva deal. Hours later the US and the EU removed part of their sanctions against Tehran.
Iran and the Group 5+1 then held a meeting in Vienna in February to work on a comprehensive deal and they agreed to hold a new round of talks in the same city on March 17-20.
Following the meeting, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, who presides over the delegations of the six world powers, voiced pleasure in their rapid agreement on the agenda and dates of their future meetings, and stressed that they had made good progress in this regard.
Zarif said that there would be six rounds of monthly talks between the seven countries by late June to pave the way for a comprehensive deal in July.
On Sunday, Zarif called on the G5+1 to remain committed to the Geneva agreement inked by the two sides in November, and said there is a good chance for striking a comprehensive deal by the end of July.
“If the other side shows good will and political resolve and if they remain committed to the contents of the Joint Plan of Action in Geneva, there will be a possibility for reaching a comprehensive solution during the period between the first month (after the implementation of the Geneva deal) to the end of July 2014 and we can reach a solution,” Zarif said in a press conference with his visiting Spanish counterpart Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo in Tehran on Sunday.
He advised the world powers to build the Iranian nation’s confidence and respect their rights, and said, “If so, attaining a solution entailing the existence of a peaceful nuclear program in Iran, annulment of all sanctions and removing the regional concerns about the peaceful nature of the program will be fully possible from our point of view.”
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