FM: Iran-Sextet Accord Possible in 6 Months, Provided West Shows Goodwill
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - Iranian foreign minister said Tehran and the six major world powers can reach an ultimate, comprehensive agreement on the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program within a 6-month span, provided that the other side shows goodwill and wins the Iranian nation’s trust.
“I believe there is a real possibility of reaching the accord within the first six months (of the final step), provided that the other side has goodwill,” Mohammad Javad Zarif said in a televised interview on Saturday night, before leaving Tehran for Vienna.
Iran and the Group 5+1 (the five permanent UN Security Council members plus Germany) are set to hold a fresh round of negotiations on Tehran’s peaceful nuclear program in the Austrian capital on February 18.
On November 24, 2013, Iran and the Group 5+1 (also known as P5+1 or E3+3) signed an interim deal on Iran’s nuclear case, which stipulates that over the course of six months, the parties will draw up a comprehensive nuclear deal which will lead to a lifting of the whole sanctions on Iran.
Elsewhere in his remarks, Zarif made it clear that the forthcoming talks would be “difficult and tight", noting that the Iranian people still have a mistrust of the western behavior, the US approaches in particular.
“The Joint Plan of Action (the Geneva deal) has provided an opportunity for them (westerners) to try to scale down such distrust to some extent,” Zarif pointed out.
He further pointed to main topics to be discussed in the forthcoming talks in Vienna, saying “an agenda for the negotiations” will be one of the subjects that will be mooed in the very first session.
“The procedure to follow up on the issue will be another topic of the first session, and also the frameworks which we believe are necessary for constructive negotiations,” he added.
The minister went on to say that Tehran is determined to enter the new round of talks “with respect to the Iranian nation’s rights and interests.”
Based on the Geneva interim deal, which has come into effect since January 20, 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 suspend its 20% enrichment for a period of six months.