Zarif, Ashton begin last-ditch round of nuclear talks

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and Catherine Ashton, the chief negotiator of the P5+1, have met to discuss ways to hold the 10th and final round of talks about Tehran’s nuclear energy program.

Zarif and Ashton attended a working lunch in the Austrian capital, Vienna, on Tuesday as a November 24 deadline approaches.

Speaking to reporters upon his arrival in Vienna, the top Iranian nuclear negotiator expressed optimism that Tehran and the P5+1 are likely to reach a final nuclear deal before the set deadline, should the six countries show political will.

Zarif added that Tehran has put forward various proposals during its nuclear talks with the P5+1 countries to assure them of the peaceful nature of its nuclear work.

Meanwhile, British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said on Tuesday that a nuclear agreement between Iran and the P5+1 can be reached by November 24, calling on Tehran to show more flexibility in negotiations.

“I believe a deal can be done. But we will not do a bad deal. These negotiations are extremely tough and Iran needs to show more flexibility if we are to succeed,” Hammond said following a meeting with US Secretary of State John Kerry in London.

Representatives from Iran and the P5+1 group – Russia, China, France, Britain, the US and Germany – wrapped up their latest talks over Iran’s nuclear energy program in the Omani capital, Muscat, on November 11.

Iran and its negotiating sides are in talks to work out a final deal aimed at ending the longstanding standoff over the Islamic Republic’s civilian nuclear work.

Sources close to the Iranian negotiating team say the main stumbling block in the way of resolving the Western dispute over Iran’s nuclear energy program remains to be the removal of all the bans imposed on the country, and not the number of centrifuges or the level of uranium enrichment.

Tehran wants the sanctions entirely lifted while Washington, under pressure from the pro-Israeli lobby, insists that at least the UN-imposed sanctions should remain in place.

By Press TV


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