Senior negotiator says is optimistic about upcoming nuclear talks

Geneva, June 9, IRNA - Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi said on Monday that he is optimistic aboutl reaching an agreement with the six western powers on Iran's nuclear program before the July 20 deadline.

Speaking to reporters, he noted that of course, it is G5+1 member states that must make tough decisions to reach a final agreement.

Iran and G5+1 member states will discuss issues in details and Tehran hopes to start drafting the final agreement in the upcoming talks with G5+1 in Vienna slated for June 16-20, Araghchi noted.

He added that Iranian negotiating team will do its best to defend Tehran's right to peaceful use of nuclear energy.

If Iran and G5+1 member states do not reach an agreement, Geneva Interim Nuclear Agreement could be extended for another six months, the sernior negotiator said.

Iranian, US and European Union (EU) officials started two days of nuclear talks on Monday.

Helga Schmidt, the deputy of EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton is present in Iran-US talks.

Iranian officials would then hold similar discussions with Russia in Rome from June 11-12.

Iran is also "working to arrange" other bilateral discussions with members of the six powers including France and Germany.

Iran and the G5+1 are working to hammer out a comprehensive deal following the interim accord that was reached in the Swiss city of Geneva on November 24, 2013 and went into force on January 20 this year.

Under the Geneva deal, the six countries pledged to provide Iran with some sanctions relief in exchange for the Islamic Republic agreeing to scale down certain aspects of its nuclear activities during a six-month period.