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Iran says nuclear talks will resume in ’7-10 days’ if no deal

November 10, 2013 at 1:01 am | News Desk

Iran says nuclear talks will resume in '7-10 days' if no deal Geneva: If world powers and Iran fail to reach a hoped-for deal Saturday over Tehran’s disputed nuclear programme, a new round of talks will be held in seven or 10 days, Iran’s foreign minister said.

“If we do not reach an agreement tonight, the talks will be resumed in the next seven or 10 days,” Mohammad Javad Zarif was quoted as saying by Iranian news agency IRNA.

Iranian officials had previously said the talks were unlikely to continue Sunday, but could move on to another round if they did not finish on Saturday.

Iran says nuclear talks will resume in '7-10 days' if no deal

US Secretary of State John Kerry (2L), EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton (C) and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (2R) in Geneva

Zarif’s comments followed initial optimism after US Secretary of State John Kerry and his Russian, British, French and German counterparts all rushed to Geneva to lend weight to the negotiations aimed at ending the decade-long dispute over Iran’s nuclear programme.

But on the unscheduled third day of talks Saturday, cracks seemed to emerge among the group of world powers after French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius raised concerns and said Paris had not accepted an initial draft of the deal.

Zarif himself said Saturday the talks were advancing but that disagreements remained, stressing that there were divisions among the group of world powers, which also includes China.

Asked about Fabius’s calls for Iran to halt operations at its Arak nuclear reactor and his questions about its enriched uranium stockpiles, he said: “The points of view are different and France has its own point of view.”

He insisted a deal could only be reached if Iran’s negotiating partners understood the need for “mutual respect” and “take into account Iran’s rights”.

“Otherwise, it will not last,” he cautioned.

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