With the Iranian new year holiday of Nowruz approaching this week, Iranian and American diplomats have launched a decisive round of diplomacy in Lausanne since Sunday to pave the way for a landmark nuclear agreement between Tehran and the Group 5+1 (Russia, China, the US, Britain, France and Germany) ahead of a June 30 deadline.
The talks were initially expected to end on Friday, before the start of the new Iranian year, but new reports suggest they could continue until Sunday.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and US Secretary of State John Kerry have met several times over the past four days in an effort to bridge the gaps ahead of the deadline for a final accord.
In their latest meeting on Wednesday night, Zarif and Kerry were joined by Deputy Secretary General for the European Union’s External Action Service Helga Schmid.
Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Ali Akbar Salehi also held technical talks with US Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz on Wednesday.
On Tuesday, Salehi said Tehran and Washington have managed to overcome differences on 90 percent of the issues in the course of talks.
In the meantime, Iran’s deputy foreign minister and senior negotiator, Abbas Araqchi said on Wednesday that the negotiations have reached “the peak of complexity”.
Araqchi said Iran was “hopeful about progress in this round of the negotiations” but expressed doubts if a solution to “all the topics” could be reached for now.