Iranian Negotiator Claims Western Powers Have Withdrawn From Past Stances in Nuclear Talks
Western Powers have backed down from their previous positions in nuclear talks with Iran, Hamid Baeidinejad, Iran’s Director General for Political Affairs at the Iranian Foreign Ministry and one of the country’s nuclear negotiators, said on Wednesday.
“The other side has withdrawn from its positions, compared with the past, otherwise we wouldn’t have stood at this point and stage in the talks at all,” Baeidinejad said, according semi-official state news agency Fars.
He added that it was his hope that Iran and the P5+1 powers would reach a final deal within the current Iranian year, in other words by some time next March.
Baeidinejad’s remarks came as the Iranian nuclear negotiators were set to leave Tehran for Lausanne, Switzerland to conduct the next round of nuclear talks with world powers, due to start late this week. Iran’s Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, is expected to hold discussions with Secretary of State John Kerry on Thursday.
Last Saturday, Zarif said that Tehran and the P5+1 had found technical solutions to their differences, noting on his Facebook page that, “proper technical and political solutions have been found for the issues which couldn’t be solved in the past,” adding that, “we have decided to return to Geneva on Wednesday to continue the talks, and God willingly (sic), finalize the details of the solutions.”
Additionally, Ali Akbar Salehi, the head of Iran’s atomic agency, said last week that Tehran and Washington had overcome their differences on most of the technical issues regarding Iran’s nuclear program. He noted that “We have agreed on 90 percent of the technical issues,” after his Mid-March meeting with US Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz in Lausanne. “There has only remained one very important point of difference that we will try to resolve in the evening talks,” he added.