Brussels (Brussels Morning) Enrique Mora, the EU’s chief coordinator of the Iran nuclear deal talks, indicated after Wednesday’s fifth round of talks that a deal could be reached at next week’s scheduled round of negotiations.
Nonetheless, Reuters reported on Thursday that other senior diplomats involved in the talks believe the negotiators still face a lot of difficult work.
Representatives of France, Germany and the UK, which were among the countries that struck the original Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action in 2015, were not as optimistic as Mora.
Difficult talks ahead
“We have continued to make progress and important parts of a future deal have now been fleshed out, but the most difficult decisions lie ahead”, they noted, adding, “we have of course worked based on the principle of nothing is agreed to (until) all is agreed”.
Two diplomats indicated that the negotiators should take a one-week break and resume talks on Thursday next week, given that the schedule is flexible.
Should this prove to be the preferred timetable, negotiators would have eight days to strike a deal before the 18 June presidential election in Iran. However, some diplomats believe this is becoming increasingly unlikely.
The EU is mediating the indirect talks between the US and Iran as the latter refuses to enter into direct negotiations with Washington.
Iran is optimistic
On Wednesday, Abbas Araghchi, spokesman for the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the country’s chief nuclear negotiator, noted that “differences have reached a point where everyone believes these differences are not insolvable.”
Jalina Porter, deputy spokesperson at the US State Department, acknowledged that “some progress has been made” in talks with Iran, but stressed that reaching an agreement would not be easy.
She added that chief US negotiator Rob Malley should return to Washington soon.