Iran nuclear talks: Drafting comprehensive deal underway

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Negotiators representing Iran and the European Union have on Friday held another meeting in Vienna to proceed with drafting the text of a final, comprehensive accord on Tehran’s nuclear program, an EU spokesman said.

Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi and EU Deputy Foreign Policy Chief Helga Schmid are continuing “drafting work” in Austria’s Vienna, Michael Mann, spokesman for EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton tweeted on Friday.

He was referring to the text of a comprehensive deal between Iran and the Group 5+1 (Russia, China, the US, Britain, France and Germany) that would resolve the decade-long standoff on Tehran’s peaceful nuclear program.

Coordinated by the EU, a decisive round of diplomacy has brought together delegates from the negotiating parties to Vienna since July 2 to iron out differences and compile a long-awaited nuclear deal, dubbed the “joint comprehensive plan of action”.

This round of talks is expected to run until at least July 15. With time running short, the two sides have now less than ten days to clinch a deal by their self-imposed deadline that expires on July 20.

Earlier on Thursday, Mann announced on his Twitter account that his boss, Ashton, has invited foreign ministers of the six powers to “come to Vienna on Sunday to take stock of where we are in talks.”

In the meantime, the US has announced it will send its highest-ranking diplomat, Secretary of State John Kerry, to Vienna this weekend for a meeting of Iran and the six powers.

In another sign of possible breakthrough in the talks, a French diplomatic source said Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius will travel to Vienna on Sunday, July 13, to assess the state of negotiations.

Meanwhile, British Foreign Secretary William Hague has also unveiled plans to join his counterpart in Vienna on Sunday over Iran’s nuclear program.

“I will join (US Secretary of State) John Kerry and other foreign ministers in Vienna this weekend to review progress of Iran negotiations,” Hague said in a message on Twitter.

But Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov appears not to take the time to travel to Austria.

On Friday, Itar Tass cited Russian Permanent Representative in international organizations in Vienna Vladimir Voronkov as saying that Lavrov will not take part in a July 13 meeting between ministers in Vienna.

“The minister will not participate in talks, I am instructed to participate in this meeting,” Voronkov said, noting that “Lavrov is accompanying Russia’s President Vladimir Putin in his visits to Latin American states”.

By Tasnim News Agency


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