Negotiators in High Spirits to Seal Nuclear Deal

Negotiators  in High Spirits  to Seal Nuclear DealNegotiators  in High Spirits  to Seal Nuclear Deal

A senior nuclear negotiator described as "positive" the atmosphere of nuclear negotiations in Vienna, which were extended for an extra week beyond a Tuesday's deadline for a final settlement.

"A positive atmosphere prevails in the talks. Each delegation is in high spirits to move forward," Abbas Araqchi said, noting, "But it does not mean that the delegations, including ours, are ready to clinch the deal at any price."

Iran and the P5+1 (the US, Britain, France, Russia and China plus Germany) have been in talks to bridge significant differences on the prospective accord that would grant Iran the lifting of sanctions in return for it accepting constraints on its nuclear program for a specified period of time.

"We hope to be able to reach the deal within these seven days…. We have not and will not be bound by time and what matters to us is achieving a good deal," he was quoted by IRNA as telling IRIB News on Wednesday.

Elsewhere, another negotiator Majid Takht-Ravanchi said in an interview with the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, an American online magazine, that Iran would not have a problem implementing its commitments under any final pact.

"We've been operating for many years (based on the safeguards agreement). There haven't been any issues with that instrument. There is also the Additional Protocol. We implemented it for more than two years between 2003 and 2005. The agency had a free hand to go over different places in Iran at their choosing, and there were not any problems at all with the places the agency wanted to see or the places it wanted to talk to."

"So, we don't have an issue with honoring our obligations in accordance with our international legal obligations," Takht-Ravanchi said.

He noted that the implementation of the protocol requires the Majlis approval, adding, "This means (after being passed by Parliament) it will become part of Iran's national laws. So, if we reach an agreement, Iran will abide by the AP, which also entails managed access" to facilities for inspections.

***Smooth Implementation  

Asked about the role of the Majlis in the talks, he said the final pact does not require Majlis approval, however, according to a recently passed bill, "the final agreement has to be submitted to the Majlis by the Foreign Ministry and every six months the Foreign Ministry had to present an updated report to Parliament."

"There are other provisions in the bill. For instance, we have to work within the framework set up by the Majlis. The Majlis is very active on this…. We believe that besides the ratification of the AP, even the provisional implementation should have the blessing of Parliament."

The deputy foreign minister said any final deal should respect the red lines outlined by the Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei and Iran will not be seriously hurt in the event of diplomacy collapses.

"If there is a deal, it should be a good deal. This is something we all want, not just Iran. This needs to fall within the framework set for us by both the Leader and the Majlis. In that case, the implementation will go smoothly."

Admittedly, "if there's a deal, it'll be in our interest, the interest of the region, the P5+1…. But a deal needs to be good to be sustainable. At the same time, if there's not a deal, it won't be the end of the world," Takht-Ravanchi said.

He explained that sanctions imposed on the country's oil, among other sectors, have motivated it to make efforts to wean its economy off oil revenues.


"The administration is trying to step away from reliance on oil in its economy, so that it can stop being hostage to the price of oil. In the next few years, we hope to reduce that reliance to zero. We know it'll be very difficult. No one can deny that not having foreign exchange is difficult. But we think it's worth it to have a good deal, and if not, we'll rely on ourselves."