A final deal to end the stand-off over Tehran's nuclear programme can still be achieved by the middle of this year, despite scepticism from some Western powers, Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said yesterday in Vienna.
Iran is holding a second day of negotiations with Britain, China, France, Russia, the United States and Germany. The aim is to reach a comprehensive deal that would restrict uranium enrichment and other nuclear activities in Iran for several years. In return, the world powers would lift all sanctions against Tehran.
“A solution within six months is not unrealistic,” Zarif said. “Our common goal is to melt the ice and to resolve all misunderstandings,” he added.
Speaking in Iran, Revolutionary Guards commander General Mohammad Ali Jafari warned against crossing "red lines" that would damage the country's pride.
He has previously indicated his opposition to any dismantling of nuclear facilities, even though the chief US negotiator, Wendy Shermann, said Iran "does not need" the Fordo site or a new heavy-water reactor at Arak.
Jafari said that Iran "will be victorious either way" in the talks.
Six world powers and Iran started a second day of talks in Vienna Tehran's contested nuclear programme, seeking to close a vast gap in expectations about what a final agreement should look like.
The parties in Vienna hope to create a lasting accord out of the landmark interim deal struck in November, under which Iran agreed to freeze certain nuclear activities for six months.