Tehran (AFP) – A senior Iranian negotiator said on Thursday “no progress” had been made to bridge differences with world powers during the second day of nuclear negotiations in Geneva.
“There has been no progress” on points of difference with the so-called P5+1 group over Iran’s disputed nuclear drive, Abbas Araqchi told travelling Iranian journalists, the Mehr news agency reported.
Araqchi, a deputy foreign minister, did not elaborate, but Iran has suggested that those differences include what it calls its right to enrich uranium.
The remarks came at a gathering in Geneva of political directors from the P5+1 — the United States, Britain, France, China and Russia plus Germany — and Iranian negotiators.
The negotiations seek a long-elusive deal over Iran’s nuclear program that Western powers and Israel suspect masks military objectives, despite Tehran’s denials.
Araqchi said: “Should there be progress and the talks near an agreement, it is possible for (P5+1) foreign ministers to come” to help clinch a deal that had seemed within reach earlier this month.
Echoing their P5+1 counterparts, Iranian diplomats have hailed the “positive atmosphere” at the talks and expressed hope of overcoming differences standing between failure this week and an accord.
Araqchi said Iran’s team was working on a mooted draft agreement on the landmark accord — that would partly curb its nuclear program in exchange for limited sanctions relief.