Work still needs to be done on nuclear talks, Iran’s FM says

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says “good progress” has been made over the past six days of the latest round of nuclear negotiations, pointing out that some work still needs to be done, Press TV reports.

“We made good progress over this week. We’ve done a lot of hard work, but some work remains ahead,” Zarif told Press TV on Friday, the sixth day of the ongoing nuclear talks in Lausanne, Switzerland.

The Iranian foreign minister said he held a “good meeting” with US Secretary of State John Kerry Friday morning, adding, “We need to have some more discussions on a number of issues.”

The top Iranian nuclear negotiator noted that Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Ali Akbar Salehi and US Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz are presently holding talks “in order to look into the bits and pieces” that still remain in an attempt to find a resolution to a number of technical issues.

Zarif highlighted the need for more coordination within the P5+1 group of countries, and between Iran and the group as well..

He said he has no information whether the P5+1 foreign ministers would join the nuclear talks in the Swiss city, adding, “I’m obviously not in charge of their schedule.”

Zarif’s Twitter response to Obama

In response to a question by Iran’s Spanish-language news channel, Hispan TV, about his reaction to a statement by US President Barack Obama, Zarif said, “What I tweeted was in response to suggestions that we need to make decisions.”

“I just wanted to say everybody needs to make decisions,” he pointed out.

Earlier in the day, the Iranian foreign minister took to his twitter account to respond to an Obama statement.

 

Zarif said Iranians “have already made their choice: engage with dignity” with the Western powers over Tehran’s nuclear work, adding, “It is high time for the US and its allies to choose: pressure or agreement.”

On Thursday, in his annual video message marking the Iranian New Year, Nowruz, President Obama sought to throw the ball in Iran’s court in the nuclear negotiations.

“Iran’s leaders have a choice between two paths … a path that has isolated Iran and the Iranian people … [and] the path of greater opportunities for the Iranian people,” Obama stated, adding, “The days and weeks ahead will be critical, our negotiations have made progress, but gaps remain.”

The latest round of nuclear negotiations kicked off in Lausanne on March 15, with Salehi and Moniz holding high-level technical talks. Experts from Iran and the United States as well as the AEOI spokesman, Behrouz Kamalvandi, also participated in the meeting.

The talks between the United States and Iran are part of broader negotiations between the Islamic Republic and the P5+1 group -- Russia, China, Britain, France, the United States and Germany -- to reach a comprehensive agreement on Tehran’s nuclear program as a deadline slated for July 1 draws closer.

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