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Tehran Will Not Quit P5+1 Talks
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Tehran Will Not Quit P5+1 Talks

The foreign minister said Iran will not pull out of the ongoing nuclear negotiations with the major powers, which are nearing their endgame, stressing negotiators are in pursuit of a final deal that protects the "dignity" of the Iranians.

"As the Leader of the Islamic Revolution (Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei) and other officials have repeatedly said, we are after an agreement that preserves our dignity. We engaged in negotiations with the aim of achieving the deal," Mohammad Javad Zarif said, IRNA reported.

He called on the western side to help reach a "balanced" deal, saying, "We will continue the talks and will never walk away from the negotiating table."

"If the other side seeks an honorable and balanced agreement, it is definitely within reach."

Negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 (the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China) continued past the deadline for concluding the accord on Friday, which has been extended twice over the past two weeks.

***Shifts in Positions

Zarif expressed regret over insistence by some parties involved in the talks on their "excessive demands", saying, "Unfortunately, we are witnessing shifts in positions and excessive demands."

"We are also witnessing that some countries among the P5+1 have differing positions. This is what has complicated the work. But we are trying to do our best."

Zarif's remarks came after a senior official in Vienna accused the United States and others nations of changing their positions and backtracking on an April 2 interim agreement reached in Lausanne that was meant to lay the ground for the final accord.

Elsewhere, Zarif told reporters from the balcony of the Coburg Palais hotel, the venue where the talks are taking place in Vienna, that negotiations will most likely continue through the weekend.

"Apparently, we'll have to stay in Vienna during the weekend," Zarif said, expressing hope that talks would wrap up by the beginning of the next week, Fars news agency reported.

Meanwhile, US Secretary of State John Kerry said on Thursday the United States and its negotiating partners are not in a rush to reach the deal.

"We're here because we believe we are making real progress," Kerry told reporters in the Austrian capital. "We will not rush and we will not be rushed."

However, he said Washington's patience was not unlimited, according to a transcript of his remarks posted on the website of the US State Department.

"President Obama made it very clear to me last night we can't wait forever for the decisions to be made. We know that. If the tough decisions don't get made, we are absolutely prepared to call an end to this process."

He did not say how much longer the talks could continue. Shortly after Kerry spoke, the White House said the talks would not likely drag on for "many more weeks," Reuters reported.

Adding to signs that a deal was not close at hand, an adviser to the Leader was quoted by Tasnim news agency as saying on Thursday Tehran's "red lines" should be respected in talks.

"A deal can be reached only if our red lines are respected," Ali Akbar Velayati said.

He also said Kerry's comments were "part of America's psychological warfare against Iran."

The talks slipped past a July 9 deadline for the US administration to submit the pact to the skeptical Republican-led Congress for a 30-day review. With the deadline missed, the review period has grown to 60 days, which is feared to provide more time and space for opponents to derail the deal.

 

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