Iran’s lead nuclear negotiator, Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi, said on Friday that Tehran and the 5+1 Powers (US, Britain, France, China, Russia, and Germany) have started drafting the text of a final agreement.
Araqchi made the remarks after the third day of discussions in Vienna, as the Iranian team met British, French, and German counterparts.
Earlier reports said the talks were moving to New York on Friday. Instead, the Iranian delegation will return to Tehran today and then travel to New York on Monday with Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who is participating in a conference on the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
Araqchi and Deputy Foreign Minister Majid Takht Ravanchi also met Chinese and Russian negotiators on Thursday.
Araqchi continued to declare that Iran’s “priority in this round of negotiations [is] the discussion of sanctions and clarifying the details of the agreement”.
Iran is calling for the immediate lifting and suspension of UN, European Union, and US sanctions as soon as a comprehensive agreement is signed. The US says the removal depends on International Atomic Energy Agency verification of Iranian compliance with the deal.
Araqchi was upbeat on Friday:
The Americans and Europeans made good clarifications on the lifting of sanctions.
We also had very useful discussion about the recent bill passed by America’s Congress.
Earlier this month, the Obama Administration and Congress reached a compromise giving legislators a 30-day review period for the text of the comprehensive agreement.
Araghchi continued, “We had already done some drafting in the past, but it was stopped because we had no solutions to major issues. Now we have solutions for almost all issues.”