Lausanne: Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif struck a note of defiance during a break in nuclear negotiations on Wednesday, urging Western leaders to seize the opportunity to reach a deal with the country on its nuclear ambitions.
Speaking to reporters during a walk along the banks of Lake Geneva, Zarif said Iran has exhibited political will to reach a deal and said the negotiating partners need to use this “unique opportunity that will not be repeated”.
“There are obviously problems that have prevented us from reaching the first stage from finding the solutions and I certainly hope that our colleagues will recognise the fact that this is a unique opportunity that will not be repeated and they need to take advantage of this opportunity,” said Zarif.
Iran and six powers have been locked in haggling over what an initial understanding should look like for nearly a week, reflecting the significant gaps facing them.
Iran wants a political deal that would not outline in detail its technical obligations, a move that some countries involved in the talks see as an opportunity for Iran not to comply with its obligations.
German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier says negotiators at the Iran nuclear talks are still facing a tough struggle, indicating the discussions are not likely to end soon.
At the same time, Steinmeier is holding out hope that the sides will be able to negotiate a preliminary accord that will let them embark on a new phase of talks aiming for a final deal by June.