Araghchi: progress in the nuclear negotiations is not where we expected it to be

[original article in Radio Farda]

A senior member of the Islamic Republic’s nuclear negotiating team says although there are differences in the text of the agreement, some have been resolved, however the progress is not where we expected it to be.

On June 22nd, Abbas Araghchi was destined to depart the negotiations leaving the text of the final agreement very complex. He told Iran’s Central News Agency that “That which is important to us is to reach an agreement that is favorable and acceptable for the nation, which is to recognize and respect the rights of the Iranian people, and the Iranian nuclear program to continue to grow and progress- with the lifting of sanctions.”

Prior to this, Russia was very concerned at the slow progress made from the talks.

While Araghchi and other members of Iran’s nuclear negotiating team left Vienna for Luxembourg, Iran’s Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, left for Tehran. With [the self-imposed] June 30th deadline looming, Iran’s team will meet the foreign ministers of Britain, France and Germany – those responsible for the foreign and defense policies of the European Union – in the form of a group and bilateral meetings.

Mr. Araghchi emphasized that, “This is not the final deadline for us” and “If it is necessary to extend our talks, that’s what we will do.” Foreign Minister Zarif also expressed the same sentiment, “It is more important to achieve a good agreement rather than being a few days early or late.” Zarif asked all parties to the negotiations “To avoid the selfish claims outside of this international framework until an agreement is possible.” Mr. Zarif added that “Of the differences that do remain, some are technical and some are political […] however we are trying to finish this as soon as possible.”

The major sticking points between Iran and the P5+1 is how to facilitate the lifting of international sanctions against Iran, the inspection and interview of those involved in the nuclear program of the Islamic Republic, and inspections of Iran’s military sites.

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