TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marziyeh Afkham underlined that the nuclear talks between Tehran and the world powers are at a sensitive and complicated stage with removal of sanctions at the center of its focus.
“We are witnessing that non-stop efforts continue. The negotiations have reached a highly complicated and sensitive stage and we are having intensive talks during which efforts are made to narrow the gaps,” Afkham told reporters in her weekly press conference in Tehran on Wednesday.
“As said by Mr. (Ali Akbar) Salehi (the head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran), most parts of the technical issues have been settled, yet the talks are highly sensitive over political issues and sanctions,” she added.
Asked about some speculations that Iran and the Group 5+1 (the US, Russia, China, Britain and France plus Germany) may result in an agreement in March, Afkham said, “This means that solutions should be found and the two sides should be able to find solutions by the end of March to enable us to work on the details and on bringing them in black and white after that (from March to July) based on the existing solutions and therefore, this is the meaning when March is mentioned, and based on the agreement, the talks can continue by July.”
Iran and the G5+1 are negotiating to narrow their differences over Tehran’s nuclear energy program ahead of a July 1 deadline.
In relevant remarks on Tuesday, Salehi announced that Tehran and Washington had overcome their differences on technical issues with regard to Iran’s nuclear program in most of the cases, adding that both sides were trying to resolve the remaining technical problems.
“We have agreed on 90 percent of technical issues,” Salehi said after his second meeting with US Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz in Lausanne, Switzerland, on Tuesday.
“There has only remained one very important point of difference that we will try to resolve in the evening talks,” he added.
Salehi is in Lausanne along with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and his negotiating team to hold talks with the world powers on Tehran’s nuclear issue.
The Iranian top diplomat traveled to Brussels on Monday night for an 8-hour visit and meeting with his European counterparts and returned to Lausanne on Tuesday.
On Monday, Zarif and his US counterpart John Kerry held discussions for five hours in Lausanne. The meeting was also attended by Salehi, Iranian Foreign Minister’s deputies Seyed Abbas Araqchi and Majid Takht Ravanchi and President Rouhani’s Special Aide Hossein Fereidoun as well as US Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz and US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman.
Iran’s team of nuclear negotiators, headed by Zarif, arrived in Lausanne on Sunday.
The new round of talks is expected to end on March 20.
Iranian and American teams of negotiators held several days of talks in Geneva late in February. Then Zarif, Salehi and Fereidoun as well as Kerry and Moniz joined their deputies two days after the start of the talks.
Zarif, then, traveled to Montreux in western Switzerland two weeks ago for another three days of nuclear talks with Kerry.
Representatives of Iran and the G5+1 also had deputy-level negotiations in Montreux following the Zarif-Kerry meeting.
Both Iran and the G5+1 negotiators have underlined that cutting a final deal before the July 10 deadline is possible.
In relevant remarks earlier this month, Zarif said there was still a good chance for the success of the nuclear talks between Tehran and the world powers, but meantime underlined that failure of the negotiations would never mean the end of world to Iran.
“There is still an over 50-percent chance for the attainment of an agreement and I feel that both sides believe that success and attainment of an agreement will be much better and useful than failure in the negotiations; yet, failure in reaching an understanding will not be the end of the world but both sides have spent their time and political prestige in the success of these talks,” Zarif said in an interview.
He stressed that the chances for the failure of the talks would be alive as long as agreement was not attained on all issues and details, and said, “As it was said in the Geneva agreement (November 2013), as long as an agreement is not made on all issues, nothing has been agreed on.”
Asked about the removal of the sanctions against Iran, Zarif said, “Removal of the UN Security Council sanctions aren’t complicated and merely depends on the political will (of the other side).”