Key differences remain on Iran nuclear issue, FM says

Photo: Key differences remain on Iran nuclear issue, FM says / Iran

Iran's foreign minister says differences remain between Tehran and the six world powers over key issues related to the Islamic Republic's nuclear energy program.

"We entered the phase of drafting the [final] accord, but we did not reach agreement on the main issues," Mohammad Javad Zarif said on June 20 after the end of the fifth round of talks between Iran and the world powers in Vienna, Iran's Press TV reported.

He said Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council - the United States, France, Britain, Russia, China - plus Germany remain divided on the "content" of the accord.

The Iranian foreign minister said Tehran will continue to stand by its "views" which are in line with "international law."

Zarif said Tehran started its talks with the six powers with "goodwill" since the very beginning with a view to "reaching an agreement," adding that the "opposite party" is not yet ready for "serious talks based on realities."

"We feel there are [still] maximalist stances. Iran will not give up the interests and the rights of the Iranian nation in the face of excessive demands," Zarif stated.

A spokesman for European Union's foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, who leads the six powers in the talks, said the two sides are to resume negotiations in Vienna on July 2.

"We presented each other with a number of ideas on a range of issues, and we have begun the drafting process," Michael Mann said in a statement.

Iran and the six countries have been holding talks to iron out their differences and finalize a deal, which would end the standoff over the Islamic Republic's disputed nuclear program.

In November 2013, the two sides signed an interim deal, dubbed the Joint Plan of Action, in the Swiss city of Geneva. The agreement came into force in January.

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