Differences Slow Nuclear Draft

Differences Slow Nuclear Draft  Differences Slow Nuclear Draft

A senior nuclear negotiator said some major unresolved issues are hindering the progress in drafting the text of a final deal with the major powers over Tehran's nuclear program.

"There are still some major problems obstructing our progress," Abbas Araqchi said, adding, "The work is proceeding sluggishly and with difficulty."

"However, good progress has been made on some details and general matters," he was quoted by IRNA as saying on Friday.

The ongoing negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 (the United States, Britain, France, China, Russia and Germany) are aimed at meeting an end-of-the-month deadline for completing the text of the final accord, whose framework was agreed on April 2 in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Araqchi said difficulties are not limited solely to what needs to be agreed between the negotiating team and representatives of the six powers, but there are some issues on which they themselves differ.

"(In such cases) they need to hold meetings to coordinate their positions, which is something difficult."

Asked to comment on the recent remarks by Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov, who is also Moscow's chief negotiator, that about 90 percent of the final text has been completed, Araqchi said, "It is not possible now to comment on the degree of progress so far in numerical terms."

The portion completed varies between the main text and its annexes, he said, adding that the work on the annexes is advancing more slowly as they include many details to be ironed out.

Moreover, the issues, whether settled or unsettled, are not equally important.

"So the progress cannot be estimated in percentage terms," he added.

Elsewhere, a source close to the negotiating team pointed to "important" issues yet to be resolved in negotiations, neither confirming nor rejecting Ryabkov's comments.

"Some gaps have been removed, but the important ones remain," the source was quoted by IRNA as saying on Thursday.

"The remarks by various sources about the amount of progress made thus far in the work on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (the official name for the final deal) can be neither confirmed nor rejected."

"It is true that progress has been made in eliminating the gaps and a considerable part of the text is now free of such gaps, but the remaining ones involve some major sticking points."