He sees no signs that either side is delaying the process. Despite the conflicts in Syria and Ukraine, cooperation within the P5+1 group continues, and nothing in Iran’s conduct indicates that it is delaying the talks, Steinmeier said at a news conference during a visit to Austria on Thursday, June 19.
At the same time, he admitted that it would be hard for the sides to find a compromise on the Arak plant and Iran’s enrichment program.
Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said on Wednesday, June 18, that the sides had practically started writing the text of their agreement but differences remained.
Russia’s chief negotiator, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov, said earlier that the parties could reach a comprehensive agreement by July 20 but there was no guarantee.
“There is such a chance even though there is no guarantee and there can be no guarantee. But we could see that all parties are determined to find a solution,” he said.
The diplomat spoke of some “difficulties” and noted that “serious and big problems are unlikely to be resolved quickly”.
Ryabkov said the most complex issues at the talks concerned the future uranium enrichment program, the Arak reactor and the lifting of the sanctions on Iran.
“There are a number of well known decisions of the UN Security Council, resolutions of the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) Board of Governors and the Geneva plan of action, which says that the future parameters of the future Iranian program should be determined jointly by all parties to the talks, taking into account the practical needs of Iran,” the diplomat said.“The problem is how to put all this into the language of concrete agreements,” he added.
“Another problem is the future of the Arak reactor. We are in for complex debates on Iran’s previous activities which raise doubts about the entirely peaceful nature of its program,” Ryabkov said. “And certainly the sanctions: how, what and when will be lifted - these are also difficult questions,” he added.
The interim nuclear deal made on November 24, 2013, called for taking the first step of reciprocal actions to prove good faith in a six-month period to be followed by negotiations for a comprehensive agreement, according to which the Western governments will acknowledge the Iranian nuclear program as civilian.
The deal was called the first step to be followed by a comprehensive agreement, which, on the one hand, should resolve the international community’s concerns about the Iranian nuclear program and, on the other hand, remove economic sanctions that slow down Iran’s economic development.
The agreement reached by and between Iran and the P5+1 (five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany) in Geneva last year became effective on January 20, 2014.