Nuclear Talks at Toughest Stage, No Extension Planned: Araqchi

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Nuclear negotiations between Tehran and six world powers have reached the toughest stage, Iran’s senior negotiator Abbas Araqchi explained, noting that an extension of a June 30 deadline for a final accord is "almost impossible".

Nuclear Talks at Toughest Stage, No Extension Planned: Araqchi

The negotiations between Iran and the Group 5+1 (Russia, China, the US, Britain, France and Germany) have reached a point that if the parties miss the opportunity to strike a deal, no more opportunity will exist, Araqchi, who is also a deputy foreign minister, said in an interview with the Iranian magazine, Mosalas.

He also ruled out the possibility that the talks might be stretched beyond a June 30 deadline in the hope of a long-awaited nuclear agreement.

The Iranian diplomat reiterated that a possible accord will be definitely a “single-phased” one.

Asked about speculations about a framework deal at the end of March, Araqchi stressed that March 30 is not a deadline, but a date until which the two sides have agreed to reach a breakthrough.

Iran and the group of six countries are in talks to hammer out a final agreement to end more than a decade of impasse over Tehran’s nuclear energy program.

On November 24, 2013, the two sides signed a six-month deal in the Swiss city of Geneva.

The Geneva deal (the Joint Plan of Action) came into effect in January 2014 and expired in July, when the parties decided to extend negotiations until November 24 in the hope of clinching a final deal that would end a decade of impasse over Tehran’s peaceful nuclear energy program.

After failing to nail down a lasting accord by the self-imposed November 24 deadline, the parties once again decided to extend the deadline for seven more months, until end of June 2015.

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