Good progress in talks thanks to Iran’s new negotiations team, German FM

Berlin, Jan 16, IRNA – German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said good progress has been made in nuclear talks thanks to the new Iranian team participating in the negotiations with the 5+1.

In a joint press conference with the visiting Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif here on Thursday, he said participants in the talks had quite a tough time for the past one decade but since the arrival of Iran’s present negotiations team, there came very good progress in the talks, too.

He said that during the period, the parties involved in the talks between Iran and the six world powers managed to strike a deal.

Making the remarks after a joint meeting with his Iranian counterpart, he said the new round of nuclear talks in 2015 virtually started with the meeting between Iran’s Zarif and the US Secretary of State John Kerry in Geneva on Wednesday.

He said he believed talks have already entered a new decisive phase after one decade of negotiations.

The German foreign minister referred to the tough moments in talks in the past ten years which occasionally resulted in halts in the negotiations.

He said there was no denying the fact that very good results have been accomplished during the past one year.

Referring to two times of extensions for nuclear talks, he said that in Vienna everybody believed that talks could not go on forever.

Now, a new window has opened in the talks so no one should save any effort to reach the ultimate objective of the talks, he stressed.

He said the objective was to block Iran’s path towards gaining access to nuclear arms in a fixed, vivid and permanent manner.

In return, Steinmeier said, sanctions against Iran should be removed in a tangible and step-by-step way.

The German foreign minister said it was of pivotal importance that the decade-long nuclear dispute finally reached an end and the parties involved started confidence-building measures.

The Iranian foreign minister said they should exchange views to see whether they could assist each other in restoring peace in the sensitive region of the Persian Gulf.

More importantly, Zarif added, they would review ways to promote the role of Germany in the talks thanks to the significant role it has been playing in nuclear issue in the past decade.

He said a lot of time has been wasted in the past 11 years with no significant improvements made in the conditions.

Therefore, the foreign minister said, today everybody needed to use the new opportunity to change things in favor of peace, security and non-proliferation of arms to promote justice and good relations.

Zarif arrived in Berlin after concluding his 7-hour talks with Kerry in Geneva, Switzerland which took place on Wednesday.

Zarif and his American US counterpart held three rounds of talks in short intervals.

Their meeting in Geneva aimed at accelerating pace of negotiations between Iran and the 5+1.

The talks were the first of kind in the new Christian years aimed at reviewing the ways to accelerate negotiations between Iran and the 5+1.

The volume of Iran’s enrichment activities, the timetable for removal of sanctions and the deadline for reaching a final deal are the most basic points of differences remaining among participants in the talks.

Done with his talks with Kerry, Zarif left Geneva for Berlin on Thursday while his deputies resumed talks with their American counterparts in Geneva.

After Berlin, he will meet the European Union Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini in Brussels, Belgium.

Then, he will proceed to Paris to meet French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius.

Zarif is to discuss ways to fight terrorism and highlight the need to prevent offenses to religious holy notions under any pretext and in any form.

He will also review bilateral relations with the European officials.

Zarif and the US Secretary of State met in Geneva on Wednesday six weeks after the deadline for Iran-Group 5+1 talks was extended until July 1st, 2015.

1424**