Final Nuclear Deal “Very Likely”: Iran’s Zarif
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said a lasting accord on Tehran’s peaceful nuclear program is within reach provided that the parties engaged in talks with Iran are serious enough.
"An agreement is very likely, provided that our negotiation partners mean it seriously," Zarif said in an interview with Germany's Spiegel magazine published on Friday.
He also criticized Saudi Arabia, which has voiced concern that a nuclear deal could embolden Iran and harm its security.
"Some people in the region are evidently panicking," he said, adding there was no reason to do so. "We don't want to dominate the region. We are happy with our size and geography," he told the magazine.
In separate comments, Zarif’s deputy and senior member of Iran’s negotiating team Abbas Araqchi said a final deal could be struck before a June 30 deadline if there is “political will” on part of the other side.
"We believe that resolving the technical components won't be difficult if there is veritable political will. If that is the case, the final deal can very likely be reached before the deadline," Araqchi told Austrian news agency APA on Friday.
He also explained that Iran is ready for all scenarios when asked what would happen if no final deal was reached by July.
"Even if I'm optimistic, that doesn't mean that any deal is acceptable. All parties want a good deal, and for Iran it's only a good deal if our legitimate rights are respected and sanctions are finished," he said.
"We have thought of all possibilities and, accordingly, are prepared for all scenarios,” the Iranian diplomat added.
Diplomats held meetings in Austria’s Vienna this week to press ahead with drafting the text of the final, long-awaited deal. The talks concluded on Friday.
Araqchi announced earlier that the next round of talks between Iran and the Group 5+1 (Russia, China, the US, Britain, France and Germany) will be held at the level of deputies in coming days, again in Vienna.
Iran and the six powers are in talks to hammer out a lasting accord that would end more than a decade of impasse over Tehran's peaceful nuclear program.
On April 2, the two sides reached a framework nuclear agreement in Lausanne, Switzerland, with both sides committed to push for a final deal until the end of June.