Expert Outlines Features of ‘Good’ Nuclear Accord

Expert Outlines Features of ‘Good’ Nuclear Accord   Expert Outlines Features of ‘Good’ Nuclear Accord

The annulment of the sanctions against Iran should be one of the two main features of a "good" nuclear deal, a member of the nuclear negotiating team with the major powers said in an interview with ISNA published on Sunday.

"A good deal is one in which no sanctions remain in place," said Davoud Mohammadnia, adding that Iran will not enter into any agreement that envisages otherwise.

In addition, the timeline for the implementation of the deal should be logical and actually meant for "verification", he said, noting that the negotiating parties have now well understood these two considerations.  

In view of the agreement reached so far on the framework of a long-term settlement to the nuclear dispute, the stage is now set to reach a deal through making political decisions, he said.

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif heading a high-level delegation arrived in Switzerland on Sunday for a new round of nuclear talks with the US delegation led by Secretary of State John Kerry.

Since the talks on a final deal were extended for seven more months last November, it has been clear that the negotiations could reach a conclusion whenever the sides managed to work out a political framework agreement, said Mohammadnia, who also serves as the foreign minister's legal adviser.

"(The framework agreement) was set as the starting point for devising a comprehensive deal," he noted.

  Hope for Extending Gains

The legal expert said substantial progress has been made so far, especially on technical aspects, hoping that the gains will be extended to other areas. "However, some progress has also been made on political issues such as the decision on sanctions and the duration of the deal."

On the possible results of the ongoing negotiations, Mohammadnia said he is "optimistic" about the outcome of talks, although nothing can be said in advance.

About the duration of a final accord, he said US President Barak Obama in his latest remarks has suggested "a 10-year period". However, the negotiators have not so far made any final decision in this regard.

On the lifting of sanctions on the banking sector, the official said upon concluding an agreement, the sanctions are planned to be fully lifted.

However, the lifting of the sanctions on banking is not the main issue in view of the fact that after the interim Geneva agreement was reached in late 2013, there was no serious problem regarding the removal or easing of banking sanctions, but the main challenge was the practical problems in banking procedures that hindered efforts to take the full advantage of the provisions of the Geneva accord.  

Asked about the Fordo nuclear facility, which is one of the major sticking points in the nuclear talks with the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany), he said no agreement has yet been reached on the future of the site, emphasizing that it is up to Iran to decide to use the facility for enriching uranium or conducting nuclear research and development activities.

Commenting on the possibility of accepting an additional protocol to Tehran's safeguards agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency, he said the matter is under the jurisdiction of parliament and needs Majlis approval.