On Track for Comprehensive Accord by July
Iran and six world powers said they are optimistic a comprehensive permanent accord on Iran’s nuclear program is possible before their interim deal expires on 20 July. Negotiators for Iran and P5+1 described that talks in the past two days as “the most detailed so far.” (Bloomberg, 19 March)
In a joint statement released today at the conclusion of two days of talks in Vienna, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif and EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said that negotiators will reconvene on 7 April, again in Vienna.
Zarif told reporters Iran expects that by late April or early May, negotiators will “start the drafting the final document.” (Bloomberg, 19 March)
This week, the negotiators tried to set the scope for Iran’s uranium-enrichment work, examined the future of Arak IR-40 heavy water reactor, and discussed sanctions relief.
“Rouhani’s government is sincere about wanting to resolve the nuclear issue in six months’ time,” Iran expert Alireza Nader, of Rand Corp., told Bloomberg. “They face real problems in fixing the economy unless sanctions are lifted,” Nader added.