FM: Much difference still exists between Iran, G5+1

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Tehran and the Group 5+1 (the US, Russia, China, Britain and France plus Germany) have still many differences whose climax will be witnessed when the two sides start drafting the final deal.

“We want to negotiate over a very important document. There is no draft (for the final document and agreement) and there won’t be any (in this round of talks which started yesterday); rather the two sides start writing their own interpretations at the same time (during the talks),” Zarif told reporters on Monday night after having a working dinner with EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton in Vienna where he is due to head three-day talks between Iran and the world powers.

He said the negotiators have not yet entered the stage when they need to write down their interpretations. “First, the two sides should come to know each others’ views and then they will start writing (a draft agreement),” he added.

Asked if he has discussed the details of Iran’s nuclear program, including Arak heavy water reactor, with Ashton on Monday night, Zarif said, “They are aware of our positions on the nuclear program.”

In relevant remarks at Vienna airport yesterday, Zarif announced that Tehran and the six world powers would begin compiling a draft of their final deal in May.

“In this round we will discuss the subjects and issues and will round them up so that we can start compiling a draft agreement in the next round in (the Iranian month of) Ordibehesht (April 21-May 21),” Zarif told reporters.

Also on Saturday, a senior US administration official said Iran and the six major world powers are making progress in their talks over Tehran’s nuclear program, and a comprehensive agreement will be drafted in May.

The official, who spoke to AP on condition of anonymity, said the statement comes ahead of the third round of negotiations on Iran’s nuclear deal in Vienna on April 7-9.

On Thursday, nuclear experts from Iran and the Sextet of the world powers started talks in Vienna as part of efforts to reach an agreement on Tehran’s nuclear program.

Iran and the G5+1 ended their expert-level talks in Vienna on Saturday afternoon as the head of the Iranian team described the negotiations as useful.

Speaking after the last session of the talks, the Iranian Foreign Ministry’s Director-General for Political and Legal Affairs, Hamid Baeidinejad who led the Iranian delegation, described the negotiations with the expert teams of the six world powers as “useful”.

The talks between Tehran and the six world powers are part of efforts to seal a final deal on Iran’s nuclear energy program.

Iran and the Group 5+1 representatives had several sessions of talks in Vienna on March 18-19.

On November 24, Iran and the five permanent United Nations Security Council members 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 the latter’s nuclear energy program.

In exchange for Tehran’s confidence-building bid to limit certain aspects of its nuclear activities, the Sextet of the world powers agreed to lift some of the existing sanctions against Tehran and impose no nuclear-related sanctions on Iran during the six-month period.

By Fars News Agency


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