Iran’s Nuclear Chief Optimist about N. Talks
(FNA)- Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Ali Akbar Salehi on Monday expressed optimism about the trend the nuclear talks between Iran and the world powers.
"I am very optimist about the continuation of the nuclear talks," Salehi made the remarks after a meeting with US Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz in the Swiss city of Lausanne.
Iran's team of nuclear negotiators, headed by Zarif, arrived in the Swiss city of Lausanne on Sunday.
In this round of talks like the two previous rounds, Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Ali Akbar Salehi will also participate in the negotiations.
The negotiations started in Lausanne on Sunday afternoon with Iranian Deputy Foreign Ministers Seyed Abbas Araqchi and Majid Takht Ravanchi, European Union Representative Helga Schmidt and US Under-Secretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman in attendance.
Zarif is due to visit Brussels on Monday at the invitation of EU Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini to have a special meeting with French, British and German Foreign Ministers Laurent Fabius, Philip Hammond and Frank-Walter Steinmeier over a final nuclear deal.
Also on Monday, Salehi and US Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz will join the deputy lead negotiators, while Zarif is also due to take part in the talks a day later on Tuesday.
The new round of talks is expected to end on March 20.
Iran and the Group 5+1 (the US, Russia, China, Britain and France plus Germany) are negotiating to narrow their differences over Tehran's nuclear energy program ahead of a July 1 deadline.
Iranian and American teams of negotiators held several days of talks in Geneva late in February. Then after two days of negotiations, Zarif, Salehi and President Rouhani's brother and senior aide Hossein Fereidoun as well as US Secretary of State John Kerry and Moniz joined their deputies in the talks.
Then Zarif traveled to Montreux, western Switzerland, last week for another three days of nuclear talks with Kerry.
Representatives of Iran and the G5+1 also had deputy-level negotiations in Montreux following the Zarif-Kerry meeting.
Both Iran and the G5+1 negotiators have underlined that cutting a final deal before the July 10 deadline is possible.
In relevant remarks earlier this month, Zarif said there was still a good chance for the success of the nuclear talks between Tehran and the world powers, but meantime underlined that failure of the negotiations would never mean the end of world to Iran.
"There is still an over 50-percent chance for the attainment of an agreement and I feel that both sides believe that success and attainment of an agreement will be much better and useful than failure in the negotiations; yet, failure in reaching an understanding will not be the end of the world but both sides have spent their time and political prestige in the success of these talks," Zarif said in an interview.
He stressed that the chances for the failure of the talks would be alive as long as agreement was not attained on all issues and details, and said, "As it was said in the Geneva agreement (November 2013), as long as an agreement is not made on all issues, nothing has been agreed on."
Asked about the removal of the sanctions against Iran, Zarif said, "Removal of the UN Security Council sanctions aren’t complicated and merely depends on the political will (of the other side)."