Negotiations for a Good Deal Not Time Bound

Negotiations for a Good Deal Not Time BoundNegotiations for a Good Deal Not Time Bound

The negotiating team is aiming for a "good" deal with the major powers over Tehran's nuclear program, not feeling bound by a self-imposed June 30 deadline to finalize the details of the deal, a nuclear negotiator said on Wednesday.

"We are not bound by time. We are trying to achieve a good deal with desirable details," Abbas Araqchi was quoted by IRNA as telling reporters upon arrival in Vienna for a fresh round of nuclear talks.

"The fifth round of negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 (the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Russian and China) to continue drafting the text of the comprehensive accord started with meetings at expert level and will continue today at the level of deputy foreign ministers," he said.

"Writing the text of the final agreement and its annexes is a tough task…. Discussions are getting more detailed, serious and complicated toward the end."

Asked what would be the next step after completing the draft text, Araqchi said, "Once the negotiations are completely finished, we will have a final deal, if it is agreed by the two sides."

The foreign minister noted, "However, we have not yet reached a point that we can say the talks will be concluded shortly. They will proceed until or probably even beyond the set deadline."

  Fuzzy End  

Meanwhile, Reuters quoted the French ambassador to Washington as saying on Tuesday that the prospective deal is not likely by June 30 because technical details will remain to be defined and Iran will not get sanctions relief before the end of the year in the best of cases.

"It's very likely that we won't have an agreement before the end of June or even (right) after," Gerard Araud said in an appearance at the Atlantic Council think tank.

"Even if we get the best deal ... afterwards, you will have to translate it into the technical annexes, so it may be ... we could have a sort of fuzzy end to the negotiation."

Speaking after the event, Araud said it could take a few weeks of July to complete the technical annexes envisaged under the final agreement. German Ambassador to the US Peter Wittig said, "Iran needs some time to start the implementation of this agreement, so in the best case sanctions relief would not happen before the end of this year."

Peter Westmacott, Britain's ambassador, said it would be hard to tighten sanctions if no deal is struck, particularly if the major powers are blamed for the failure.