A failure by Iran and world powers to reach a comprehensive agreement over Tehran’s nuclear program would be dangerous “for the entire world”, a senior Iranian negotiator says.
Iran and six world powers are seeking a landmark deal by November 24 that would see Iran scale back its nuclear activities in order to ease long-held fears it might develop atomic weapons, in return for a lifting of international sanctions.
“A nuclear deal is in the interest of both parties and the region,” deputy foreign minister Abbas Araghchi said in an interview with Iranian television the day before talks between Tehran and the so-called P5+1 group of nations resume in Oman ahead of a final deadline this month.
“No one wants to return to the situation there was before the Geneva accord, as that would be a dangerous scenario for the entire world,” he said, referring to an interim agreement Iran signed last year that traded curbs on its nuclear program for limited sanctions relief.
The West wants to close all avenues to Tehran developing an atomic bomb, by cutting back its nuclear enrichment program, shutting down suspect facilities and imposing tough international inspections.
Iran denies it wants nuclear weapons but insists on having “industrial-level enrichment” for its civilian energy program. It wants all sanctions lifted and no restrictions on its existing nuclear technology.
US Secretary of State John Kerry will meet on Sunday and Monday with Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif in Oman along with EU former head of diplomacy Catherine Ashton in an attempt to bring the two sides closer together.