Iran will only sign up to an international deal on its nuclear program if it is guaranteed the right to continue enriching uranium “from start to finish”, the country’s chief negotiator at talks in Geneva said today.
“No deal that does not include the right to uranium enrichment from start to finish will be accepted,” Abbas Araghchi said ahead of negotiations in the Swiss capital aimed at ending the decade-old nuclear dispute. Iran could discuss volumes, levels and locations but “the principle of enrichment is not negotiable”, he insisted.
As representives of Iran and six world powers – the US, Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany – prepared for the two days of talks, the negotiator downplayed hopes of agreement. He said there were “major differences” between Iran and world powers, adding: “There is a chance of a deal by tomorrow (Friday) but it’s a difficult task.”
Mr Araghchi told state television that the main obstacle to agreement was a “lack of trust because of what happened at the last round” – referring to November talks when world powers toughened up the terms of a draft deal – insisting that “as long as trust is not restored, we cannot continue constructive negotiations”.
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