Iran wants all Western sanctions to be lifted as part of a deal on its contested nuclear program by a November deadline, a top official said Wednesday, according to AFP.
The announcement came amid intensifying efforts to conclude a definitive pact. The six powers in the talks with Iran - Britain, China, France, Russia, the United States plus Germany, known as the P5+1 - have set November 24 as the deadline after they failed to reach an agreement by a previous deadline in July.
However, the chairman of the Iranian parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, Alaeddin Boroujerdi, said an American proposal of a gradual lifting of sanctions was “unacceptable.”
“If we want a definitive accord on November 24, there must be an immediate lifting of sanctions,” he told a news conference in Paris, according to AFP.
A Western diplomat close to the negotiations with Iran on Monday said a firm deal by the deadline was highly unlikely, saying Tehran would have to make “significant gestures.”
The aim is to close avenues towards Tehran ever developing an atomic bomb, by cutting back its enrichment program, shutting down suspect facilities and imposing tough international inspections.
In return, the global community would suspend and then gradually lift crippling economic sanctions imposed on the Islamic republic.
But the two sides, despite long-running talks, remain far apart on how to reconcile their objectives.
Western officials have said 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.
Iran has been toughening its position, with senior negotiator Abbas Araqchi saying last week he sees no prospect for a deal unless the other side abandons its “illogical excessive demands”.
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.