Iranian president: N. deal possible, ball in powers’ court

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian President Hassan Rouhani voiced optimism about reaching a nuclear agreement with the world powers, and said now it is the opposite side which should take its final decision if it wants a deal with Tehran or not.

“I believe that reaching an agreement is possible and there is no irresolvable issue; it is the opposite party to the negotiations which should take the final decision,” President Rouhani told reporters in Tehran on Saturday.

Stressing that Iran is determined to clinch a deal, but, with due respect to its redlines and criteria, he said the negotiations are proceeding and some differences have been removed and new common viewpoints have emerged which would serve as a basis for striking a final deal, although there are still some differences.

The remaining issues could have been resolved in this round of the talks, Rouhani reiterated, adding that the two sides felt they needed more time and postponed the meeting for a few days due to the same reason.

All problems could be resolved but it is quite natural that the coming days or weeks will be very tough as taking the final step is always somewhat difficult, he said, adding that it is quite natural that negotiations never satisfy both sides completely as each side should mind their own redlines.

Clinching a general deal is easy, but when details appear it is a very tough and complicated job and there will be many problems on the way, President Rouhani said.

Assuming a win-lose game at the contemporary world is wrong and no power in the world could be the absolute winner or think of annihilating the other party or trampling upon others’ rights, he said, and expressed the hope that nuclear talks would bear fruit and bring blessings for the Iranian people, the regional states and the entire world.

President Rouhani said that the nuclear deal will serve international peace, friendship, close relations and economic development for Iran and the regional countries.

His comments were made after the ninth round of talks between the Iranian and US nuclear negotiators was held in Lausanne on Friday afternoon in the presence of Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, US Secretary of State John Kerry, their deputies, Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Ali Akbar Salehi, US Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, and EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and her deputy Helga Schmid.

Zarif said earlier today that Tehran and the 5+1 (the US, Russia, China, Britain and France plus Germany) group of powers have found technical and political solutions to their differences.

“Proper technical and political solutions have been found for the issues which couldn’t be solved in the past,” Zarif wrote on his facebook page on Saturday.

“We were ready for negotiations, but the other sides needed more time for coordination,” he added.

“We have decided to return to Geneva on Wednesday to continue the talks, and God willingly, finalize the details of the solutions,” Zarif said.

Earlier, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister and senior negotiator Seyed Abbas Araqchi said that the next round of nuclear negotiations with the world powers would start on Wednesday, March 25.

The US and European countries require more consultations and arrangements with their governments to continue talks with Iran, he said.

Talks between Iran and G5+1 were very serious and extensive, he said, adding that nuclear teams at this juncture are in need of more negotiations and coordination, Araqchi added.

To the same reason, foreign ministers of the European states and the US will meet in Berlin on Saturday and the next round of talks with Iran will be resumed on March 25, he said.

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 Friday, Zarif underlined that the ball was in Washington’s court to make a choice between a final deal or ineffective pressures against Tehran.

“Iranians have already made their choice: Engage with dignity,” Zarif wrote in her tweeter page.

“It’s high time for the US and its allies to chose: pressure or agreement,” he added.

Also 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 Zarif and his negotiating team to hold talks with the world powers on Tehran’s nuclear issue.

Iran’s team of nuclear negotiators, headed by Zarif, arrived in Lausanne on Sunday.

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 Kerry held discussions for five hours in Lausanne. The meeting was also attended by Salehi, Iranian Foreign Minister’s deputies 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.

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).”

By Fars News Agency