President Rouhani has declared, in an interview on State TV, that Iran and the 5+1 Powers will reach a “solution” in their long-running talks about Tehran’s nuclear program.
Iran resumes discussions with the US and the European Union this week in Vienna, with a view to another high-level summit before a November 24 deadline when interim arrangements expire.
Rouhani said there was “no turning back” and indicated that the two sides, who agreed to an extension of the deadline in July, might do so again: “Our will is that in 40 days the matter will be resolved but if other things happen and we are not able to solve all the problems, the two camps will find a solution.”
He continued, “Anyway, we will find a solution to the nuclear subject and we believe that the two sides will certainly reach a win-win agreement.”
Rouhani’s insistence that “good steps” had been taken toward a resolution stand in contrast with the downbeat statements of his advisors, including Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, in recent weeks. They have said that “significant gaps” remain on key issues, notably Iran’s number and level of centrifuges for enrichment of uranium in a civil nuclear program.
Saudi Foreign Minister Challenges Iran: “Get Your Troops Out of Syria”
Following a meeting with his German counterpart in Jeddah, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud has demanded that Iran withdraw its “occupying” forces from Syria.
Declaring that Tehran is at the centre of trouble throughout the Middle East, Saud also challenged Iranian involvement in Iraq and Yemen: “In many conflicts, Iran is part of the problem, not the solution.”
Saud declared, “We can say that Iranian forces in Syria are occupying forces”, helping the “illegitimate” leader Bashar Al Assad, whom he described as an “illegitimate” leader.
He continued, “If Iran wants to be part of the solution in Syria, it has to pull its forces from Syria. The same applies elsewhere, whether in Yemen or Iraq.”
Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian responded, “The remark by Saud al-Faisal, if it is carried precisely, is in contradiction with diplomatic negotiators between the two countries.”
(Cross-posted from Syria Daily)