Dialogue Will Continue Until Deal Finalized

Dialogue Will Continue Until Deal Finalized
Dialogue Will Continue Until Deal Finalized

Hours after Iran and the major powers agreed on Monday to extend the talks on a final deal over Tehran’s nuclear program in Vienna, President Hassan Rouhani said Tehran “will continue dialogue until a final agreement is reached,” emphasizing that the Iranian nation will finally be the “winner.”  

“Iran’s logic is one of negotiations and dialog; and nuclear talks will be continued with seriousness until a final deal is struck,” Rouhani said in an interview broadcast live on Iranian television, IRNA reported.   

Rouhani said the path of nuclear negotiations would lead to a final agreement, while noting that all parties to the nuclear talks reached a consensus on the extension of the negotiations as an effort to achieve the final goal.

“It is true that we could not reach an agreement but we can still say that big steps have been taken.”

He said the Iranian nation today has achieved a great success and “no one says more pressure should be exerted on Iran to secure a deal.”

“Today, the major powers have come to the conclusion that they should deal with Iran only through logic, dialogue and negotiations … and pressure and sanctions will not be effective,” the president underlined.

He added that the Islamic Republic will never give up its nuclear rights, saying the country’s nuclear facilities will certainly remain operational and Iran will never dismantle its centrifuges.

Under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), member states have the right to access nuclear energy for peaceful applications and enrich uranium for this purpose.  

Elsewhere, the president noted that Iran pursues two main objectives in its talks with the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany), which are maintaining its nuclear technology and lifting sanctions on Tehran.  

“At present, no one in the world has the slightest doubt that Iran should have nuclear technology, including enrichment on its soil, and no one has any doubt that sanctions should be lifted,” Rouhani added.

  Political Accord  

Iran and its international negotiating partners agreed to extend the talks on a long-term settlement to the 12-year dispute over Tehran’s nuclear program for seven more months until June 30, 2015 after they failed for a second time in this year to meet a target date to clinch a final accord.

The parties now have to secure an agreement on the substance of a final accord by March. The talks are set to resume next month.

Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi said, “A political agreement or, in other words, a general deal could be reached within a few days if the required political will is there.”

The senior nuclear negotiator said commitments under the interim agreement will remain in place, adding that Iran will receive 700 million dollars of its frozen funds held abroad per month until next July.  

Under an interim deal reached between Iran and the six major powers in Geneva last year, Tehran scaled down parts of its nuclear activities in exchange for a limited easing of sanctions.


  Deal Possible Before Deadline  

In a press conference on Monday, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Tehran will make every effort to reach an agreement with the major powers “in the shortest possible time,” IRNA reported.

“The efforts made over the course of the past year have led to the presentation of various proposals that are at our disposal. These could enable us to draw a prospective final agreement,” he said.

“I believe the negotiations during the past months and especially those that took place since last week in Vienna have contributed greatly to the progress in this path and this extension is aimed at providing a short breather for reaching agreement,” he said, adding that the time until the new deadline will be used to put complicated technical issues into a final agreement.

The West has claimed that Iran may have been seeking to develop the capability to build nuclear weapons under the guise of a civilian nuclear program. Tehran denies the allegation, saying its nuclear work is meant only for peaceful purposes, such as power generation.   

“We have always said that Iran has no strategic interest in nuclear weapons and nuclear weapons do not serve our strategic interests,” Zarif said, adding, “Nuclear weapons are against every principle of our faith and our beliefs.”

“We seek to develop nuclear energy for peaceful purposes,” Zarif noted.

  Joint Statement

After the announcement of the extension of the talks, Zarif and European Union envoy Catherine Ashton, who coordinates the negotiations on behalf of the major powers, issued a joint statement which reads as follows:

“Since we agreed to the Joint Plan of Action (the interim deal) one year ago in Geneva, we, together with the Foreign Ministers and Political Directors of the E3+3 (China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States), have been engaged in intensive diplomatic negotiations aimed at reaching a comprehensive solution.

We once again express our appreciation to the Austrian Government for their most generous support in hosting these negotiations in Vienna.

Based on the strong commitment by all sides to reach a mutually-agreed long-term comprehensive solution, we have held ten rounds of negotiations and numerous meetings during the past months.

Some ideas have been developed, but given the technical nature of this effort and the decisions needed, more work is required to assess and finalize them as appropriate.

We would have preferred to finalize a comprehensive solution here in Vienna. But we remain convinced that, based on the progress made and on the new ideas which continue to be explored, there is a credible path through which a comprehensive solution can be reached.

We, together with the Foreign Ministers of the E3+3, have therefore agreed to continue our diplomatic efforts. We have decided to extend the measures of the Joint Plan of Action to allow for further negotiations until June 30th. We intend to build on the current momentum in order to complete these negotiations within the shortest possible time, up to four months, and if necessary to use the remaining time until the end of June to finalize any possible remaining technical and drafting work.  

Iran and the E3/EU+3 reaffirm that they will continue to implement all their commitments described in the Joint Plan of Action in an efficient and timely manner.

The IAEA will be asked to continue monitoring the voluntary measures under the Joint Plan of Action.

The next meeting to continue our work will happen in December.”