Iranian team may return home on Friday: Chief negotiator

Lausanne, April 2 (IANS) Hopeful of a resolution of Iran’s nuclear issue in extended talks here involving the P5+1 grouping, Foreign Minister Mohammad-Javad Zarif said on Thursday that his negotiating team may return to Tehran on Friday.

Answering a journalist’s question about extension of the current round of nuclear talks, Zarif replied: “God willing, we will be in Tehran, on Friday.”
He further added that he was hopeful of resolution of Iran’s nuclear issue, regarding the Lausanne talks, Iranian news agency IRNA reported.
Zarif hinted at the possible release of a press statement late on Thursday, adding that if things went well, reaching a final deal before the July deadline was possible.
The Iranian foreign minister also said that the release of a joint press statement needed coordination between the P5+1 (the US, Russia, China, France, Britain plus Germany) and Iran.
While pointing out that the various members of the P5+1 have different attitudes towards resolution of Iran’s nuclear issue, he underlined the fact that Iran and the P5+1 have reviewed possible solutions during the Lausanne negotiations.
“The remaining issues need be discussed in order to reach a final agreement before the July deadline….”
Zarif on Thursday also conferred with EU foreign minister Federica Mogherini on the latest developments in the nuclear talks.
The P5+1 member states held an internal meeting on Thursday morning to determine their next steps in the talks.
Representatives from Iran and the P5+1 group continue holding successive rounds of talks in Lausanne to narrow the existing differences on Tehran’s nuclear activities.
The two sides have missed a March 31 deadline for reaching a mutual understanding on whether they could continue further talks on Iran’s nuclear programme.
The potential agreement paves the way for a much broader deal by the end of June which guarantees the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear activities in return for a promise by international powers to lift unfair sanctions against the country.
Earlier on Thursday, the US State Department spokesperson Marie Harf said the diplomats held negotiations throughout Wednesday night until 6 a.m. on Thursday morning.
“US Secretary of State John Kerry and his negotiating team back at work this morning,” Harf said via Twitter.
Meanwhile, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius rejoined the talks after returning to Lausanne late on Wednesday.