Nuclear Deal Within Reach

Nuclear Deal Within Reach Nuclear Deal Within Reach

The European Union foreign policy chief said once again Iran and its international negotiating partners are close to striking a comprehensive deal to resolve the 12-year standoff over Tehran's nuclear work.

Federica Mogherini made the remarks at a press conference in Doha on Sunday following the 24th EU-[P]GCC ([Persian] Gulf Cooperation Council) Joint Council and Ministerial Meeting.  

"We discussed Iran… and the need for a comprehensive deal and a good deal with Iran, after the understanding we reached in the beginning of April in Switzerland. Now I believe an agreement is within reach by the end of June," she said, according to a transcript of her remarks posted on the website of the European External Action Service.

She also said, "We know that only a robust and comprehensive solution, which would give verifiable guarantees about the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran's nuclear program will build a strong basis of mutual trust. And we believe it will increase security in the region. It would curb the risk of nuclear proliferation, in conformity with the Non-Proliferation Treaty, and bring the Iranian program under international oversight."

Iran denies the allegation that it may be seeking to develop a nuclear weapons capability under the guise of a civilian program, saying the work is solely aimed at using nuclear technology for peaceful applications such as generating electricity.  

In addition, Mogherini said, "We reassured our (Persian) Gulf partners that we know we have to be mindful of the regional dimension, and that the high stakes in terms of stability and weapons proliferation need to be addressed. We are aware of the concerns of the (Persian) Gulf partners and we are working to address them in the most effective way."

Iran and the P5+1 (the United States, Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany) are scheduled to resume a new round of talks in Vienna today with the aim of working out the terms of a long-term accord, which is set to be finalized by the self-imposed June 30 deadline. They reached a preliminary agreement on the outline of the final pact on April 2 after days of intensive talks in the Swiss city of Lausanne.  

The timing of lifting sanctions against Iran, the country's nuclear research and development program and the monitoring and inspection regime by the International Atomic Energy Agency are among the major sticking points in the negotiations.