World / Middle East

Iranian nuclear talks enter 'final stage' for framework agreement

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-03-20 17:19

Iranian nuclear talks enter 'final stage' for framework agreement

United States Secretary of State John Kerry walks into another negotiating meeting with Iran's Foreign Minister Javad Zarif over Iran's nuclear program in Lausanne, March 18, 2015.  [Photo/Agencies]

Zarif said on Wednesday that it was yet unnecessary for the foreign ministers from the P5+1 countries to join the talks at this point, according to Press TV.

"I don't think their presence will be needed in this round," he said. "When the solutions are found and we approach a deal, then all the foreign ministers of the negotiating parties should come."

It has been over 15 months since Iran and the world's major countries agreed to come back to the negotiating table to discuss Iran's controversial nuclear program, which Tehran claims is for peaceful purposes, but many in the West fear the country could eventually develop an atom bomb.

Under an interim deal between Iran and the P5+1 inked in November 2013, Iran said it would suspend critical nuclear activities in return for some easing of sanctions, with all sides seeking a final and comprehensive deal.

The six world powers have set a June 30 deadline to forge a final and comprehensive agreement, but the United States has said earlier that it hoped to reach a "framework agreement" by the end of March.

In Washington, the White House said in a statement that US President Barack Obama held a phone conversation with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who tried to undermine the Iranian nuclear talks by speaking to a joint session of US Congress on the issue earlier this month.

During the phone talks, Obama reiterated his administration's goal of negotiating a comprehensive deal over Iran's nuclear program, said the statement.

Meanwhile, in his annual video message marking Nowruz, the Persian New Year, he also urged Iranians to seize the "historic" opportunity presented by the nuclear talks and mend ties between the two countries.

The coming days and weeks are critical although there are gaps remaining and opponents in both countries who oppose a deal, he said.

"I believe that our nations have a historic opportunity to resolve this issue peacefully, an opportunity we should not miss," Obama said.

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