Iran, P5+1 have political will to ink final deal
Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Yukiya Amano says Iran and the P5+1 group have the necessary political determination to strike a final deal over Tehran’s nuclear program.
“We sense there is a political will. They have covered various issues and they have disagreement in some areas as I understand it,” Amano said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal on Sunday, adding,“So all the elements are there.”
He further said the talks between Iran and the IAEA have yielded no “significant” progress in recent months, calling on the parties involved in the nuclear negotiations to do more to clarify the outstanding issues and secure a lasting accord.
The IAEA chief also commented on his recent meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference in Germany, saying the two sides agreed to step up senior-level dialogue.
Zarif did agree that senior Iranian and IAEA officials should “interact more intensively and more frequently,” according to Amano.
He said that the UN atomic agency and Tehran are expected to hold another top-level meeting in the coming weeks, although no date has been set yet.
Last month, Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Ali Akbar Salehi said the country had answered all the questions raised by the IAEA over Tehran’s nuclear program, adding that the agency has “almost accepted all the answers.”
The IAEA has on numerous occasions confirmed that Iran has lived up to its commitments under an interim nuclear deal it signed with six world powers last year.
Iran and the P5+1 states – Russia, China, France, Britain, the United States and Germany – are seeking to reach a high-level political agreement by the end of March and to confirm the full technical details of the accord by July 1.
The scale of Iran’s uranium enrichment and the timetable for the lifting of anti-Iran sanctions are seen as major sticking points in the talks.
Iran has so far suspended some of its nuclear enrichment program in return for certain sanctions relief.