Major Gaps in Iran Nuclear Deal Limited to Few Issues: Negotiator
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – The fundamental and major sticking points over a final agreement on Iran’s nuclear program have been cut down to only two or three issues, a senior Iranian negotiator engaged in nuclear talks with six world powers announced.
The other less crucial differences include some 7 to 10 remaining issues, Abbas Araqchi told reporters in Vienna on Tuesday evening.
He said the text of a comprehensive nuclear deal between Iran and the Group 5+1 (Russia, China, the US, Britain, France and Germany) still contains differences over some “technical details.”
According to Araqchi, the main text of the comprehensive accord has become “more complete”, and drafting a couple of remaining paragraphs will require political decisions by the foreign ministers.
Commenting on the progress in drafting the annexations of the deal, Araqchi said the annex on Iran’s nuclear program is in the final stages, as Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Ali Akbar Salehi and US Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz have made “very good progress” in finalizing that.
“The annex relating to the sanctions has been completed almost over 95 or 96 percent. Maybe two or three trivial issues have remained,” he added.
“The annex on peaceful nuclear cooperation with Iran is almost over,” the top diplomat explained.
Although consensus has been reached about removal of the economic and financial sanctions –meaning that all of them will be terminated at the very first day of implementation of the final deal- differences still remain on other ones, such as arms embargo, Araqchi said.
He said the arms embargo had the most beneficial effect on Iran, since it helped the country make dramatic headways in its defense industry and weapons production.
“The arms embargo per se is not an important issue,” Araqchi added, saying the problem is that a specific type of sanctions could be retained in the structure of the sanctions regime.
Commenting on the extension of the marathon talks until Friday, he made it clear that Iran is by no means bound by any deadline.
“We do not consider any deadline. The criterion for us is to reach the good deal we want… We are ready to stay in Vienna as long as needed and finish the job, even if the negotiations would be extended day by day,” he said.
What is certain, he added, is that there will be no months-long extension like the past.
Iran and the Group 5+1 (also known as the P5+1 or E3+3) have been negotiating over the past 22 months to end more than a decade of impasse over Tehran's civilian nuclear program once and for all.
Last week, the parties gave themselves an extra week beyond an end-June deadline to nail down details of the long-awaited accord.
However, they decided on July 7 to continue the talks until Friday to overcome the remaining diferneces and finalize the deal.