Rouhani: Nuclear Deal will Be Good for All

Iran’s President remains hopeful of a comprehensive agreement with world powers.

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Elad Benari,

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani
Iran's President Hassan Rouhani

Iran’s President said on Monday he remains hopeful of a comprehensive agreement with world powers despite "difficulties" in negotiations on Iran's disputed nuclear drive, AFP reports.

Hassan Rouhani also said that an agreement would be in the interest of both his country as well as the six world powers.

The comments come after the latest round of talks in Vienna ended with no tangible progress, with time running out to clinch a deal by the agreed deadline of July 20.

"In spite of the existing difficulties, God willing, the negotiations with the P5+1 group will finally result in a deal," Rouhani said, according to the state news agency IRNA.

Negotiators had been expected to start work on drafting the text of an agreement at the three-day meeting last week.

But Iran's lead negotiator Abbas Araqchi said "the gaps were too large," and a senior U.S. official spoke of "a very slow and difficult process."

According to media reports, among those gaps are the scope of Iran's enrichment of uranium, which if further purified could be used to trigger a nuclear explosion, and its unfinished Arak research reactor, whose by-product waste could provide an alternative route to an atomic bomb.

Iran insists its activities are aimed at civilian uses of nuclear technology, while Western powers suspect its drive masks military objectives.

Iran's refusal to widen the scope of the talks to cover its development of ballistic missiles also reportedly caused a rift.

Negotiators from Iran and the P5+1 are expected to reconvene in Vienna to try to narrow the gaps, but no date for a new round has been finalized.

Iran’s Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, said Sunday that clinching a final nuclear deal with world powers is still "possible" despite the latest tough round of talks.

"Agreement is possible. But illusions need to go. Opportunity shouldn't be missed again like in 2005," Zarif wrpote on Twitter, referring to Iran's long-stalled dispute with world powers over its suspect nuclear program.

Throughout the negotiation process, Iran has insisted that it will not give up on what it says is its right to enrich uranium.