UK: Iran nuclear talks sides far apart

2014-07-10 18:26
EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Catherine Ashton speaks with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. (Fabrice Coffrini, AFP)

EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Catherine Ashton speaks with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. (Fabrice Coffrini, AFP)

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Vienna - Significant differences remain between six world powers and Iran in negotiations over Tehran's nuclear programme, an Austrian newspaper quoted British Foreign Minister William Hague as saying.

Wiener Zeitung said it had conducted an interview via email on Wednesday which it published on Thursday. Hague's remarks to the paper were identical to a statement he made on 2 July about the Iran nuclear negotiations, which resumed last week and continued in Vienna on Thursday.

Hague said a deal was far from certain but that all possibilities should be exhausted in a final round of talks now taking place in Vienna, Wiener Zeitung said.

Iran and the powers - the US, France, Germany, Britain, Russia and China - aim to reach a long-term deal to end the decade-old stand-off by a self-imposed 20 July deadline. Some diplomats and analysts believe an extension may be needed in view of the still-wide gaps in negotiating positions.

"Achieving an agreement is far from certain," Hague said. "Significant differences remain... which are yet to be bridged. But I am convinced that the current negotiations are the best opportunity we have had in years to resolve this issue."

The West fears that Iran has been seeking to develop nuclear capability to make bombs. Iran says its nuclear programme is an entirely peaceful project to generate electricity. The powers want Iran to significantly scale back its activities.

Read more on:    britain  |  iran  |  iran nuclear programme
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