Drafting Nuclear Deal ‘Difficult’

Drafting Nuclear Deal  ‘Difficult’Drafting Nuclear Deal  ‘Difficult’

A senior negotiator described the ongoing talks on drafting the text of the prospective final deal with the major powers on Tehran’s nuclear program as “difficult” because numerous details have to be worked out. “The first draft will contain many unresolved details and there will be the so-called parentheses (gaps) to be decided later,” Nasim news agency quoted Abbas Araqchi as telling state TV on Friday. Another round of nuclear negotiations aimed at writing the text of the deal started on Thursday with a meeting between deputy foreign ministers Araqchi and Majid Takht-Ravanchi and EU political director Helga Schmid in New York on the sidelines of the 2015 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT).

In parallel with the continued talks at the level of deputy foreign ministers on Friday, a meeting was held at experts’ level, with the Iranian team headed by director general of the political and international security department of the foreign ministry, Hamid Baeidinejad, IRNA reported. An unnamed diplomat told ISNA on Friday that the talks will probably continue till Monday. “The work is difficult, but we are making progress,” he said. Drafting the final agreement started in the previous three-days of negotiations in Vienna, which focused mainly on the critical issue of eliminating the sanctions.

Iran and the P5+1 (five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany) have been in talks to find a settlement to Tehran’s nuclear energy program. The two sides released a joint statement on April 2 in the Swiss city of Lausanne to announce an agreement on the outlines of the final accord, whose details should be finalized by the end of June.

The prospective accord would place constraints on Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for international sanctions relief. Iran has officially made known that all the sanctions should be lifted immediately after any final deal is concluded, while the US says the sanctions should be phased out gradually.

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif reiterated Iran’s position in this regard in an interview at New York University on Wednesday, saying, “If we have an agreement on June 30, within a few days after that we will have a resolution in the Security Council under Article 41 of Chapter 7 (of the UN Charter) which will be mandatory for all member states,” Reuters quoted him as saying. He said that the UNSC resolution would endorse the deal, terminate previous UN sanctions resolutions and “set in place the termination of EU sanctions and cessation of application of US sanctions.”