MADRID: Iran will resume talks with world powers on a final nuclear agreement on April 21 and is ready to take “irreversible steps” if the West does the same, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Tuesday in Spain.
“My team, the assistant to (EU foreign policy chief Federica) Mogherini and the other representatives of the 5+1 (global powers) will meet next Tuesday to begin drafting the text,” he told a conference in Madrid.
He did not say where the talks would take place but later gave more details about his country’s position.
“This is the framework under which we will operate with the 5+1 group: (there will be) irreversible steps on the Iranian side as long as their side takes irreversible steps. It is a very balanced approach,” said Zarif, Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator.
He was referring to the so-called P5+1 powers — Britain, China, France, Russia, the United States and Germany — who have been negotiating with Iran to end the 12-year standoff over its nuclear program.
The six countries made a major breakthrough at talks with Iran on April 2 by agreeing on the parameters for a final deal to scale back its nuclear capabilities.
But the negotiators still have a series of technical issues to resolve by a June 30 deadline for a final deal, including the steps for lifting sanctions imposed on Iran.
“Iran will take all the measures that are required in the initial phase, all the measures,” Zarif added during a joint news conference with his Spanish counterpart Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo.
“If we are going to reduce the number of centrifuges we will do that in the first days, we are also called to redesign the Arak reactors into another hardwater reactor, we will do that in the initial steps,” he added.
Western powers want Iran to re-design a planned research reactor at Arak to cut its potential output of plutonium, one of the materials needed to produce a nuclear bomb.
Oil-rich Iran denies Western claims that it is seeking to make a nuclear bomb.