“Real progress” made in nuclear talks, problems remain: Iran negotiator

TEHRAN, July 13 (Xinhua) — Real progress has been made in the nuclear talks between the representatives of Iran and the world powers for a comprehensive agreement despite some lingering problems, Iran’s senior negotiator Abbas Araqchi said in the Austrian capital of Vienna on Monday.

“The talks are at its tough moments, and real progress has been reached over the past three days,” Araqchi told reporters as the talks entered the final day of the latest self-imposed deadline on Monday, according to official IRNA news agency.

Sunday’s “talks continued until 4 a.m. on Monday (Vienna time) and they will go on today … but there are still problems to be solved,” he was quoted as saying.

Unless these problems are solved, no agreement will be announced, “but there is a hope for that,” he added.

On Sunday, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said there are still work to be done on Monday on an agreement on the Iranian nuclear issue, but there would be no extension of the talks.

Iran and the P5+1 group — Britain, China, France, Russia, the United States plus Germany — have been negotiating for nearly two weeks in Vienna for a comprehensive deal on Iran’s nuclear issue.

Following the presentation of a framework agreement in Lausanne, Switzerland, in April, the parties were originally set to reach a final deal on June 30.

As some tough issues remained, they postponed the deadline to July 7 and then to July 13.

On Sunday, Mohsen Rezaei, the secretary of Iran’s Expediency Discernment Council and the former commander of Iran’s Revolution Guards Corps, urged Washington to seize the opportunity for a nuclear deal, saying that Tehran is ready to increase the number of its uranium enrichment centrifuges to 100,000.

“The United States can not threaten Iran with military attacks or increase sanctions against Tehran, and they have no choice but negotiations,” he said.

The United States asked Iran to limit its missiles’ ranges to 300 km, which means to disarm Iran in the face of Israeli threats, he said.

“This shows that the U.S. officials want to impose a war on Iran in the future… they are making mistakes and sending suspicious signals to (ongoing nuclear) negotiation table,” he added.

Since 2013 when Iran entered negotiations with the world powers to resolve the nuclear disputes, top leadership in Tehran said defense capabilities and missile program of the country would not be included in the talks.

However, West recently raised the issue of Iranian missiles as a sticking point in a run for a comprehensive nuclear deal. Tehran reiterated its previous stance, saying that its missile program is separate issue and irrelevant to the nuclear talks.


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