Last updated: 2 September, 2014

Iran has “ideas” on how to reach nuclear deal

Iran has plenty of ideas on how to reach a nuclear deal with world powers before a November 24 deadline, Tehran’s lead negotiator said Tuesday during a visit to France.

“We are serious, determined and we have ideas for each and every problem which exists on the table,” Abbas Araqchi said in an interview with France24 television.

“We have ideas and our ideas would address all concerns… We have presented our ideas in the previous round. We are going to present again those ideas,” he said.

He added however that the other side has to “avoid excessive demands” on the key issue of uranium enrichment, a process which can make nuclear fuel but also the core of a nuclear bomb.

The next round of talks between Iran and six world powers, expected on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly this month, will be “very crucial”, he said.

“We will certainly have a clearer picture on whether we will be able to finish the job by the deadline,” Araqchi said.

Iran and the five permanent members of the UN General Assembly plus Germany decided in July, after several rounds of talks, to extend their self-imposed deadline to get a deal by four months to November 24.

After a decade of rising tensions, such an accord would see the Islamic republic scale back its nuclear programme in order to ease long-held fears — rejected by Iran — that it wants atomic weapons.

In return Iran wants a raft of UN and Western sanctions that have caused it major economic problems lifted.

Such a deal is fiendishly complex, however, although Araqchi sought to downplay the chances that the deadline might simply be extended beyond November.

“I see very, very little possibility to extend even more. We would be in a difficult position, I suppose, but I believe that diplomacy would never end. I prefer to remain optimistic and hopeful,” he said.

“We are still at the table and we will remain at the table until the last minute.”