Negotiator Cites Slow Progress in P5+1 Talks

Negotiator Cites Slow Progress in P5+1 Talks  Negotiator Cites Slow Progress in P5+1 Talks

A nuclear negotiator said talks with the major powers on Tehran’s nuclear program are progressing, though not as quickly as expected.

“The differences (over the details of) the text of a (final) deal have been narrowed to some extent, but the progress is below our expectations,” Abbas Araqchi told IRIB News on Monday in Vienna, where Iran and the P5+1 (the US, Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China) are holding talks to finalize a long-term nuclear accord by the end of this month.

Asked to comment on the progress made in drafting the text of the agreement, He said, “The text is complicated and has various technical, legal and, most importantly, political aspects.”

“(Writing the text) demands thorough examination, which is first done at the level of experts and then deputy foreign ministers.”

Araqchi said Iran’s delegation held bilateral meetings with the three European countries as well as Russia and China over the past five days.

Pointing to the looming deadline of June 30 for achieving the accord, the deputy foreign minister reiterated the position adopted by the negotiators that they do not consider themselves bound by time and their top priority is striking an agreement that safeguards the nation’s rights.

“We are approaching the self-imposed deadline. But, as we have already said, this is not a rigid deadline and if we feel the need to extend the talks for a few more days, we will do so.”

“What matters to us is reaching a desirable and acceptable deal for the nation, one that recognizes and respects the rights of the Iranian people.”

Araqchi said Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif will likely meet his US counterpart John Kerry, who is expected to travel to Vienna toward the end of the week.