Pursuing Early Termination of Sanctions

Pursuing Early Termination  of Sanctions
Pursuing Early Termination  of Sanctions

An advisor to the nuclear negotiating team says Tehran is seeking to secure an early termination of sanctions as part of a final nuclear agreement with the major powers.

Amir Hossein Zamaninia said, "We are interested in the suspension and lifting of sanctions as soon as possible. The tricky point of the negotiations is the steps that are needed to be taken to secure such an objective."

Tehran and the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany) failed in November to meet a second self-imposed deadline this year to reach a comprehensive settlement to the long-running dispute over Tehran's nuclear work and decided to extend the negotiations on a final deal for seven more months until the end of next June.

The most recent round of talks was held in Geneva, Switzerland this month.

The two sides had reached a preliminary nuclear agreement in Geneva in November 2013, under which Iran agreed to temporarily scale down parts of its nuclear activities in exchange for limited sanctions relief.

The veteran diplomat told in an interview with the Mardom-e Emrouz daily that "I am optimistic that in the coming months Iran and the P5+1 can strike an agreement. However, at this critical juncture differences remain. The parties remain divided on almost all issues."

"I believe there is a political will in Iran, the European Union, and the US and certainly in Russia and China in order to narrow the differences and reach an agreement," he noted.

"Under the current circumstances, the world is waiting for the talks to bear fruit and the parties reach a final agreement. I believe by signing the Geneva agreement last year our victory has already begun."

Elsewhere, Zamaninia, who is the deputy oil minister for international affairs, said, "Iran has reached its planned goals in the nuclear industry. (Today) we have a domestic nuclear industry. We have an enrichment program and will pursue it in the future. Iran will continue its activities with regard to the (nuclear) fuel cycle. The Geneva deal has provided for all the above."  

He went on to say that the Europeans have deprived themselves of the opportunity to do business with Iran for fear of retaliatory measures by the US Treasury Department following the easing of international sanctions against Tehran which came as part of the Geneva agreement, while over the past few years the volume of trade between Iran and the US has increased considerably.  

The diplomat did not rule out the failure of nuclear negotiations and said the administration is "fully prepared" for such a scenario.