The new round of negotiations that aimed to narrow differences over Tehran’s nuclear programme has broadened consensus, China’s envoy to the talks on Sunday said.
Wang Qun, Director-General of the Department of Arms Control of China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said that this round of talks was intensive, practical and in-depth.
Wang said that China hopes all sides to seize the valuable historic opportunity, and show the political will and determination to facilitate a package solution and a win-win comprehensive agreement.
“Time is running short,” China’s envoy Wang told reporters. All parties must “adopt a pragmatic and a flexible approach” and reach “resolute political decisions,” he said.
Wang added that parties involved agreed to hold the next round of talks in early February with the venue to be announced later.
The P5+1 (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council – the United States, Russia, China, the United Kingdom, and France plus Germany) and Tehran held talks over Iran’s nuclear issues, the second one after the failure to meet a November 24 deadline last year for a comprehensive nuclear deal.
According to Iranian state-run IRIB TV, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad-Javad Zarif on Saturday expressed optimism despite persisting wide gaps between Tehran and the world powers.
He said that “serious, accurate and clear discussions” over the disputed nuclear topics were held over the past days, and “we are seriously doing our job and believe that the solution is within reach.”
All participants in Tehran’s talks with the P5+1 still have the “political will” to settle the issue within the timeframe agreed upon last November,” Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said on Monday.
“It (the will) is definitely here. Everyone sees incoming external factors and the attention, which a number of countries pay to what is going on at the talks,” Ryabkov said.
Moscow and Tehran, in August last year, signed far-reaching deals, from energy to consumer goods, which are expected to undermine Western-led sanctions against the two countries. The oil trade portion of the cooperation deal could be worth $2.35 billion per year, Russian business daily Kommersant reported.
Iran says it needs nuclear power to generate electricity, but Western powers led by the United States claim Iran’s eventual aim is to create nuclear weapons.
Iranian officials have said last year they can turn to Beijing and Moscow if talks in Vienna fail to end Western sanctions.
China and Russia can provide diplomatic cover at the UN Security Council, where they wield vetoes that can help prevent sanctions from be widened.
China is the biggest buyer of Iranian oil and one of the few countries to continue absorbing large volumes of Iranian exports without any big decrease since U.S. and EU sanctions were tightened in the past three years. Russia has sold Iran weapons, built a nuclear power station and could provide technology.
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