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Nuclear deal with West possible, says Iran FM
May 28, 2015, 12:31 pm

Zarif says a deal with the West can be reached if their demands are realistic and based on mutual respect [Xinhua]

Zarif says a deal with the West can be reached if their demands are realistic and based on mutual respect [Xinhua]

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says that a deal with the five members of the UN Security Council and Germany (also known as P5+1) regarding his country’s nuclear energy program could still be reached by the June 30 deadline.

During a visit to Athens, Greece, Zarif told reporters that the deal would have to be “sustainable, mutually respectful and realistic” in its demands of Tehran.

Zarif has met with his US counterpart John Kerry several times since they agreed on a framework agreement in Lausanne, Switzerland on April 2.

“We consider the US government responsible for fulfilling its international commitments under international laws,” he said.

The Lausanne agreement states that Iran will curb its nuclear program in exchange for a lifting of punitive economic sanctions.

The tentative text states that Iran would be allowed to keep some of its nuclear research, limiting the number of centrifuges (needed to produce fissile material for an atomic bomb) to about 1,000.

“If the other side respects what has been agreed in Lausanne and tries to draft, based on mutual respect, a comprehensive agreement with Iran that is sustainable, then we can meet any deadline,” Zarif said after meeting with Greek officials.

“If people insist on excessive demands, on renegotiation, then it will be difficult to envisage an agreement even without a deadline.”

On Wednesday, State Department spokesperson Jeff Rathke said that the deadline would not be extended.

But the greatest point of contention – which has already produced a series of contradictory statements in Tehran and Washington – is how quickly sanctions will be removed.

Kerry has acknowledged that a number of issues remain but has repeatedly said that he is confident a final deal will be signed on June 30.

Kerry is expected to meet with Zarif and Iranian officials in Geneva, Switzerland on May 30 as part of negotiations sponsored by the European Union, Rathke said.

The BRICS POST with inputs from Agencies

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