Tehran, Nov 11 (IANS/EFE) Iran’s Abbas Araqchi, deputy chief negotiator at the country’s nuclear talks with world powers, has said it would be “very difficult” for both sides to reach an agreement on the issue before a Nov 24 deadline.
Araqchi told the state-run, English-language channel Press TV late Monday that no progress had been achieved in trilateral talks being held in Oman between Iran, the US and the European Union on Tehran’s nuclear energy programme.
The talks were to continue Tuesday at a technical level, he added.
According to the channel, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, US Secretary of State John Kerry and EU negotiator Catherine Ashton were due to hold a joint press conference at the end of the talks.
However, it was cancelled with no clear breakthrough in the discussions.
Iran and the P5+1 group — the US, Russia, China, Britain and France plus Germany — have given themselves until Nov 24 to reach an agreement which would allow the Iranians to develop a peaceful nuclear programme.
The world powers believe Iran is interested in using the programme to develop a nuclear weapon, while Tehran claims the programme is strictly for civilian purposes.
“Negotiations are held directly, (they are) approachable, practical and in consideration with the main objective we have, which is to reach an agreement. They are serious and real,” Araqchi said in a separate interview with Iran’s semi-official ISNA news agency.
The Iranian official promised that the negotiating team “will continue efforts to reach an agreement if it is possible and it is in the national interest”.
“We are prepared to stay in Oman and continue the negotiations,” he added.
“Uranium enrichment and related issues was one of the issues discussed at the trilateral talks,” the deputy negotiator added.
“We have not reached a final agreement on any subject. Of course, there are ideas and suggestions, but there are still objections and concerns from both sides,” he said.