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Too early to say whether Iran, P5+1 can come to agreement by July 20 — source

July 14, 2014, 19:07 UTC+3 VIENNA
A source close to the talks said that the negotiations between Iran and the United States were proceeding intensively but there were no significant changes in their positions yet
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© EPA/HANS PUNZ

VIENNA, July 14. /ITAR-TASS/. It’s too early to say whether Iran and the P5+1 (five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany) group can come to agreement by July 20, an Iranian diplomat said on Monday, July 14.

A source close to the talks said that the negotiations between Iran and the United States were proceeding intensively but there were no significant changes in their positions yet.

The source said that US Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarifi were discussing issues on their merits but there have been no substantive changes in their positions so far.

Kerry and Javad have held several meetings but it’s too early to say whether Iran and the six world powers can reach a comprehensive agreement by July 20, the source said.

Kerry was said to be considering the possibility of staying in Vienna until July 15.

The source said the sides had reaffirmed their readiness to work literally 24 hours a day in a bid to bridge the gap in their positions as much as possible and reach a common result.

A member of the US delegation said earlier that one of the purposes of Kerry’s visit to Vienna would be conducting detailed consultations with his Iranian colleague in order to determine Tehran’s readiness to take critically necessary steps.

The current round of talks between Iran and the P5+1, with the participation of Ashton, began in Vienna on July 2.

Her spokesperson Michael Mann said “we are working very hard, we are working on drafting the text. But there are still obvious, serious gaps to close and we are determined to work hard to try and close those gaps.”

The Iranian negotiators are hoping to work out the final agreement before July 20 and resolve by that time all existing disagreements, including uranium enrichment restrictions for the duration of the implementation period insisted upon by the United States.

It was reported earlier that the Iran-P5+1 talks would resume at the expert level in Vienna on July 5-6.

Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif said in the middle of June that the sides had practically started writing the text of their agreement but differences remained.

He said the parties had agreed the title of the document which should close the Iranian nuclear file. It will be called a joint comprehensive action plan.

Iranian President Hassan Rohani also said that the remaining “disputes can be resolved with goodwill and flexibility” to reach a permanent agreement before a July 20 deadline.

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 programme 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 programme 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.

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