“Slow Progress” in Iran Nuclear Talks: Spokeswoman

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – The ongoing nuclear negotiations between Tehran and six world powers have made very slow progress, Iran’s foreign ministry spokeswoman announced, saying the two sides have now come to discuss the topics on which they have “essential differences”.

“Slow Progress” in Iran Nuclear Talks: Spokeswoman

Speaking in her weekly press conference on Wednesday, Marziyeh Afkham said “intensive, tough and serious” negotiations are in progress between Iran and the Group 5+1 (Russia, China, the US, Britain, France and Germany) in Vienna.

Although the talks have made slow progress so far, Tehran hopes that the other side would “take a wise decision with a realistic view towards Iran’s peaceful nuclear program,” she noted.

As regards mounting speculations that foreign ministers of the G5+1 (also known as the P5+1 and E3+3) may join the talks in Vienna, Afkham explained that much of any plan for the possible presence of ministers will be aimed at “getting informed about the process of negotiations and continuing consultations.”

She underlined that Iran is determined to clinch the long-awaited nuclear deal, but "not at any cost".

“The talks are in progress with seriousness, and we hope that we would be able to reach a lasting, logical and fair agreement within the announced time period.”

She made clear that a July 20 deadline does not mean that the negotiating parties must hammer out a deal before that date, but said, “We will do our utmost to make the most of the remaining time.”

Iran and the six powers opened the latest round of nuclear negotiations in the Austrian capital on July 2. Coordinated by the European Union, the talks are aimed at resolving the decade-long standoff on Iran’s peaceful nuclear program.

The talks will continue until at least July 15. If required, the parties would carry on consultations to the last moment of a self-imposed deadline on July 20.

Iran and the sextet on November 24, 2013, clinched an interim nuclear deal in the Swiss city of Geneva.

The breakthrough agreement (the Joint Plan of Action), which has come into effect since January 20, stipulates that over the course of six months, Iran and the six countries will draw up a comprehensive nuclear deal which will lead to a lifting of the whole sanctions on Iran.

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