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Deal with Iran 'closer than ever:' EU foreign policy chief

March 29, 2015 at 1:19 pm

The European Union’s foreign policy chief on Saturday said they had never been closer to a deal in Iran’s nuclear negotiations, while there were still some critical points to be resolved.

“We have some difficult points that need be solved and we will be working over the weekend to bridge the gaps,” Federica Mogherini told reporters in Lausanne, Switzerland, without giving details about the negotiations.

Delegates from Iran, the US, UK, China, France, Russia and Germany – dubbed P5+1 – resumed negotiations on March 26 over Iran’s nuclear program and sanctions which have crippled the economy.

Mogherini said she was optimistic about the negotiations and “substantial” progress was made in the past weeks, calling them “positive.”

“But still there are some points on which we have to work very hard to find solutions that are good,” Mogherini said.

She defined a desirable solution as one “that can guarantee that Iran has no nuclear weapons and cannot develop nuclear weapons, but still can develop civil nuclear program.”

The talks had recently been ramped up amid concerns that a failure to produce a framework deal before March 31 could jeopardize any positive outcome of a final agreement, due by July 1.

The P5+1 have claimed Iran is developing nuclear weapons and want its program curbed in return for the lifting of sanctions.

Tehran insists its nuclear program is solely for peaceful purposes.

The deal sought by the six-member group would have Iran accept limits on its uranium enrichment capacity and would allow International Atomic Energy Agency inspections without interference.