A senior Iranian negotiator on Saturday said he sees no bright prospect for the conclusion of nuclear talks between Iran and six world powers by a November 24 deadline unless the other side abandons its “illogical excessive demands”.
“The negotiations between Iran and [the P5+1] are going ahead in a tough path filled with ups and downs and there is no good prospect for the conclusion of the talks by the deadline,” said Iran’s deputy foreign minister, Abbas Araqchi, according to the Tasnim news agency.
Araqchi was responding to comments made by the U.S. undersecretary of state for political affairs, Wendy Sherman, who leads the American delegation for talks with Iran.
“Undoubtedly, attempting to launch negotiations through media outlets rather than (sitting behind) negotiation table and declare political demands, once accompanied by illogical excessive demands, will not only help the progress of the talks, but also will make (continuing) the present tough path more difficult or impossible,” the Iranian diplomat warned, according to Tasnim.
Sherman said this week there has been impressive progress on several issues in the nuclear talks between world powers and Iran, but also said the November 24 deadline is “the time to finish the job”.
Sherman's remarks came in a speech given Thursday at a Washington think-tank where she cited the "size and scope" of Iran's enrichment as a barrier to a deal.
"Iran's leaders would very much hope that the world would conclude that the status quo -- at least on this pivotal subject -- should be acceptable, but obviously it is not," she qas quoted by AFP as having said.
Araqchi reiterated that the Islamic Republic will continue the negotiations with good will until the final result is reached.
“We also believe that the existing opportunity is a great chance which may not be available for neither side again. We are certain that if the other side adheres to its declared objective in the negotiations, that is making sure that Iran’s nuclear program is peaceful, realizing this goal is not that difficult,” he said.
Iran and the six world powers - the United States, France, Germany, China, Russia and Britain - aim to end the decade-old nuclear standoff by a self-imposed November 24 deadline, which was set after the sides failed to reach an agreement by a previous deadline in July.
Western officials said last week there are still important differences between the sides, especially over the future scope of Iran's production of enriched uranium, which can be used to fuel atomic energy plants but can also provide the fissile core of a bomb if purified to a high degree.
Araqchi recently indicated that nuclear talks with world powers could be extended again if no deal is reached by the November 24 deadline.
However, an American official dismissed the possibility of talks being extended yet again after November, saying there were no talks now about extending the deadline.