Iran nuclear talks losing pace: Russia negotiator

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov says the ongoing talks between Iran and the six world powers on drafting the text of a final deal over Tehran’s nuclear program have lost momentum.

“Unfortunately, the progress pace … is slowing down. It worries us more and more because the time left to the deadline is getting short, and we must step on the final stretch as soon as possible,” Ryabkov told reporters upon arrival in the Austrian capital, Vienna, on Thursday for a fresh round of negotiations at the level of political directors.

Negotiators from Iran and the P5+1 group of countries – the United States, Britain, France, China and Russia plus Germany – are seeking to finalize a comprehensive deal on Tehran’s nuclear program by July 30.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (1st L) during official talks with US Secretary of State John Kerry (1st R) in Geneva, Switzerland, May 30, 2015. ©AP

Iran and its negotiating partners have been working on the text of a final deal since they reached a mutual understanding on the key parameters of a final deal in the Swiss city of Lausanne on April 2.

Ryabkov, who is Russia’s senior nuclear negotiator at Iran’s nuclear talks, said that among the thorny issues in the talks was the Arak heavy water reactor.

Iran and the P5+1 group of countries “have reached understanding about the future configuration of the heavy water reactor in Arak, but the sides are still unclear on who will reconfigure the reactor, when, how and with what kind of financing,” the Russian diplomat said.

Iran has, on several occasions, stressed that it will not bow to excessive demands by the opposite side in the course of drafting the text of a final deal, warning that adopting such an approach by the six world powers could impede a final agreement.

Tehran says Arak nuclear facility will remain a heavy water reactor, but will be redesigned to produce less plutonium.

By Press TV