Iran, Sextet Conclude Talks, Move Closer on Implementing Geneva Deal
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Negotiators representing Iran and the group of six world powers wrapped up two days of talks in Switzerland, with the Iranian representative saying the two sides have resolved all the outstanding differences on how to implement a nuclear deal, reached in Geneva in November.
Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs Seyed Abbas Araqchi and Deputy EU Foreign Policy Chief Helga Schmid concluded four rounds of talks in Geneva on Friday evening in order to resolve a couple of issues that had remained unresolved during earlier expert-level talks between Tehran and the Group 5+1.
Araqchi, who headed a delegation of Iranian nuclear negotiators in the two-day talks, said that both sides have reached an agreement on the remaining differences, noting that all points of disagreements between Iran and the Group 5+1 (the US, Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany) have been resolved.
However, he added that a final agreement still requires final approval by all the governments.
“We had very intensified negotiations yesterday and today, but it was very good, very constructive, and we made good progress. We were able to find solutions to almost every question. There is no difference now between the two sides,” Araqchi told Press TV on Friday.
“We have to take these solutions to the capitals for final confirmation,” he added.
The Iranian diplomat further noted that if all sides accept the agreement, then there will be an official announcement within the next few days regarding the start of implementation of the Geneva deal within ten days.
Meanwhile, a spokesman for the other side - represented by Helga Schmid, deputy to the lead negotiator, Catherine Ashton, the European Union’s top foreign policy official - said in his Twitter account at the end of the talks that “very good progress” was made "on all the pertinent issues related to implementation of Geneva Joint Plan of Action.”
Michael Mann also made clear that the results of the talks are “now under validation at political level in capitals.”
In Washington, however, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a news briefing that although the technical talks were making good progress, “reports that a deal had been finalized were inaccurate.”
"There have been a few outstanding issues, but at this point, the reports that everything has been finalized are incorrect," she said.
Iran and the Group 5+1 (also known as P5+1 or E3+3) on November 24 signed a six-month deal on Tehran’s nuclear program based on which the world powers agreed to suspend some non-essential sanctions and to impose no new nuclear-related bans in return for Tehran's decision to freeze parts of its nuclear activities and to allow more inspection of its nuclear facilities.
The six-month duration specified in the agreement was meant to give negotiators time to reach a far more comprehensive accord.
The European Union liaises with Iran on behalf of six world powers in diplomatic efforts related to Tehran's peaceful nuclear program.
The seven countries need to agree when the nuclear accord goes into effect, meaning when the European Union and the US ease economic sanctions in return for Iranian nuclear concessions.