Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi says it is the US not Iran that must make tough decisions in nuclear talks between Tehran and the P5+1.
Araqchi made the statement in reaction to remarks by US Secretary of State John Kerry who said on May 6 that Iran must make very tough decisions over its nuclear energy program.
“We ... advise the American side to stop making decisions based on illusions and in fact it is the Americans that must make tough decisions in negotiations and stop threats and sanctions because this will be a historic decision for American officials,” Araqchi told reporters on Tuesday night.
He said that all P5+1 countries, especially the US, have come to the conclusion that threats and sanctions are “ineffective” tools in the course of negotiations.
The Iranian official made the remarks after Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton met on Tuesday night ahead of the next round of high-level nuclear talks between the Islamic Republic and the P5+1 - the United States, China, Russia, France and Britain - plus Germany in the Austrian city of Vienna on Wednesday.
Araqchi, who is a member of the Iranian negotiating team, said that in addition to the Wednesday talks Iran and the six countries will hold three more rounds of negotiations within the six-month period, which he said would be “highly intensive”.
Iran and the P5+1 are working to hammer out a comprehensive deal following the interim accord that was reached in the Swiss city of Geneva on November 24, 2013 and went into force on January 20 this year.
Under the Geneva deal, the six countries pledged to provide Iran with some sanctions relief in exchange for the Islamic Republic agreeing to scale down certain aspects of its nuclear activities during a six-month period.