TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif rejected as an “outright lie” the media reports alleging that he had warned the US that failure to strike a long-awaited nuclear deal would put President Hassan Rouhani’s administration at risk.
His comments came after Reuters on Saturday quoted three Iranian officials as saying that Zarif has warned the US that failure to agree a nuclear deal would likely herald the political demise of pragmatist President Rouhani.
Zarif pressed the concern with Kerry at several meetings in recent weeks, according to three senior Iranian officials, who said Iran had also raised the issue with other Western powers, Reuters said.
Meanwhile, a senior US official denied that any such warnings had been received from the Iranians. “We’ll leave assessment of Iranian politics to the Iranians but this rumor is untrue,” the official told Reuters on condition of anonymity.
Iran and the Group 5+1 (Russia, China, the US, Britain, France and Germany) are in talks to hammer out a final agreement to end more than a decade of impasse over Tehran’s nuclear energy program.
Iran and the six powers look to reach a framework agreement in March and a final long-term deal by June 30.
Following an interim nuclear deal signed in Geneva in November 2013, two deadlines for a final, comprehensive deal have been missed, and now a third one is looming on July 1.
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