Top Negotiator Expects Tougher Talks between Iran, World Powers
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - Iran's top nuclear negotiator said the forthcoming round of nuclear negotiations between Tehran and the six major world powers is going to be harder than the previous ones and inclusive of more detailed issues.
“Naturally, as the negotiations move forward, they become more painstaking, more serious and more difficult. This round of talks will be harder in comparison with the previous round, and more details will be discussed,” Mohammad Javad Zarif said on the eve of a new round of nuclear talks between Iran and the Group 5+1 --Russia, China, the US, Britain, France and Germany.
He made the remarks at a joint press conference with his Belarusian counterpart Vladimir Makey, here in Tehran on Sunday.
Iran and Group 5+1 (also known as P5+1 or E3+3) are preparing to hold a fresh round of talks on Tehran’s peaceful nuclear program in the Austrian capital of Vienna on Monday.
Elsewhere in the news conference, Zarif played down expectations that the negotiating parties could reach a possible agreement in the forthcoming round, noting that they have not even had any plan to strike such a deal at this point.
“We have agreed to discuss a number of topics, including the aspects of Iran’s peaceful nuclear program, particularly the issue of (uranium) enrichment, heavy water, as well as the international cooperation on peaceful nuclear energy sphere, their (westerners’) commitments within the framework of the NPT (Non-Proliferation Treaty) and removal of the (anti-Iran) sanctions,” Zarif explained.
As regards the level of negotiations, Zarif said he will be leading the team of Iranian nuclear negotiators, whereas the European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton is scheduled to liaise with Iran on behalf of the six countries, like the past.
However, Zarif added, the deputies are tasked with pushing ahead with the talks under the supervision of the political leaders.
He further described it as “unlikely” that foreign ministers of the other participating countries would attend the Vienna talks.
On November 24, 2013, Iran and the world powers signed a six-month deal on Tehran’s nuclear case in Geneva after several rounds of tight negotiations.
Based on the interim deal (the Joint Plan of Action), 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.