TEHRAN, March 19 (Xinhua) — Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad-Javad Zarif said on Thursday the current round of nuclear talks is at its final stage with negotiators staying in Switzerland to find solutions for the remaining problems.
“Presently, we see ourselves at the final stage of the talks which demands intensive discussions,” Zarif was quoted in Lausanne of Switzerland by official IRNA news agency.
Much work is needed to achieve mutual understanding and negotiators will stay in Lausanne as long as it takes, said Zarif when asked how long the talks will last.
Zarif described the current state of negotiations as “complicated and difficult,” adding that the negotiators are working on the remaining issues, which is a “good sign for a move forward.”
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Zarif met for the fourth day in Lausanne on Thursday to smooth out the outstanding differences over Iran’s disputed nuclear program ahead of the immediate deadline of March 31.
On Wednesday, Zarif said it was yet unnecessary for the foreign ministers from the P5+1 countries — the United States, China, Russia, France, Britain, plus Germany — to join the talks at this point, according to Press TV.
“I don’t think their presence will be needed in this round,” Zarif said, adding that “when the solutions are found and we approach a deal, then all the foreign ministers of the negotiating parties should come.”
It has been over 15 months since Iran and the P5+1 agreed to come back to the negotiating table to discuss the controversial Iranian nuclear program.
Iran claims its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes, but many in the West fear the country could eventually develop an atom bomb.
Under an interim deal between Iran and the P5+1 inked in November 2013, Iran said it would suspend critical nuclear activities in return for some easing of sanctions, with all sides seeking a final and comprehensive deal.
The six world powers have set a June 30 deadline to forge a final and comprehensive agreement, but the U.S. has said earlier that it hoped to reach a “framework agreement” by the end of March.