Zarif: No Green Light for Extension of Nuclear Talks Yet
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – No agreement has been made so far that negotiating parties would consider extending the talks on Tehran’s nuclear program beyond a July 20 deadline, Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator announced on Wednesday.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who leads the team of Iranian nuclear negotiators in Vienna, made the comments in reaction to the speculation raised by several Western diplomats that prolonging the talks beyond July 20 was very likely.
Since July 2, delegates from Iran and the Group 5+1 (also known as the P5+1 or E3+3) have launched a new round of high-profile talks in Vienna in a bid to hammer out a comprehensive deal on Tehran’s nuclear case.
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.
The interim agreement also includes a provision for lengthening talks on a permanent agreement as far out as next January if all sides agree. But even an extension would have to be negotiated.
Earlier on Tuesday, Zarif had told reporters in Vienna that an extension of nuclear talks beyond July 20 was possible, saying, “I have observed the willingness on the part of the six powers that more time for nuclear talks might be useful.”