Enrichment Key Sticking Point in Nuclear Talks: Iran FM
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iranian foreign minister has revealed that the country’s uranium enrichment capacity and the number of its centrifuge machines make up the main stumbling blocks to the nuclear talks between Tehran and six world powers, a lawmaker said.
Behrouz Nemati, rapporteur of the Iranian Parliament’s presiding board, quoted Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif as saying on Tuesday that while differences between Iran and the sextet of world powers are still in place, there are signs of flexibility by the Western parties in the course of the negotiations.
“Americans and other Western sides have agreed to take account of the Iranian nation’s legitimate demands,” Nemati quoted Zarif as saying in a closed-door session of the parliament on Tuesday to brief the lawmakers on the latest developments regarding the nuclear negotiations between Tehran and the Group 5+1 (Russia, China, the US, Britain, France and Germany).
According to the MP, Zarif has also spoke of an “intense pressure” by the sextet for the conclusion of nuclear talks before a July 20 deadline.
On July 18, after more than two weeks of intensive diplomatic negotiations in the Austrian capital of Vienna, Iran and the Group 5+1 (also known as P5+1 or E3+3) agreed to continue talks on Tehran’s nuclear program for another four months.
The parties decided to extend the nuclear talks until November 24 in the hope of clinching a final deal to resolve the decade-long standoff on Iran’s nuclear energy program. The four-month extension of the talks will begin on July 21.
Iran and the sextet on November 24, 2013, signed an interim nuclear deal in the Swiss city of Geneva. The breakthrough agreement (the Joint Plan of Action), which came into effect on January 20, had given the parties extendable six months to draw up a comprehensive nuclear deal.