Marathon talks between Iran and the world powers in Vienna from Monday to early Tuesday made certain progress on Tehran’s long-standing nuclear programme, but the parties could have not sealed a final agreement on the issue.
However, Iran and the six negotiators, dubbed P5+1, including the US, the UK, France, Russia, China and Germany, are said to have agreed on a draft deal which calls a full UN inspection of Iran’s all nuclear sites regardless of civil or military on the basis of consultation between the parties, a diplomatic source related with the talks told reporters on Tuesday.
Iran and the six world powers have been negotiating since the self-imposed June 30 deadline to strike a 100-page final deal, but the tortuous negotiations have progressed very slowly so far as the parties knotted around some lingering issues.
Iran demands an immediate removal of UN sanctions, as well as the release of nearly 100 billion dollars worth of its assets around the world.
But, the West still persists that a complete removal of the sanctions would depend on the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) full-fledged access into Iran’s nuclear facilities and freely deliver a comprehensive report on its findings which will confirm or deny the allegations attributed to Tehran.
The participants to the excessively extended talks expect to finalise the Iran nuclear agreement as early as on Tuesday in Vienna where the foreign ministers of six powers have been holding a shuttle diplomacy with the Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.
The US side announced on Monday that "genuine progress" was achieved during the talks in Vienna, as "some key issues in the negotiations have been closed" in the last week sessions between the parties.
The White House press secretary Josh Earnest stated on Monday that If there is further progress, they would continue to negotiate with Iran in Vienna.
"The reason for that is this is the interim agreement that's been in place for a little over a year-and-a- half now that has frozen Iran's nuclear program in place and rolled it back in some key areas," Earnest said.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed his optimism on Sunday as he said that a final nuclear deal with the world powers in Vienna would be “very close” at the end of colichy talks.
"We have come a long way. We need to reach a peak and we're very close," the Iranian President said on Sunday during a breaking fast dinner (iftar) in Tehran.
When he came to power in 2013, Rouhani changed Iranian discourse on the nuclear programme and chose to cooperate with the P5+1 under the auspices of the IAEA.
With the endeavours of Rouhani and Zarif leadership, Iran and the P5+1 group reached a preliminary framework nuclear agreement in Switzerland on April 2, which enhanced expectations about the signing of a final deal by terminating the 12 years of stand-off between Tehran and the West.
Iran and the US perceive a final nuclear agreement that could ease the decades old tension since 1979 if the parties may agree, but there remains "several of the most difficult issues" that hamper the striking of a final deal, according to the US, represented by the Secretary of State John Kerry in Vienna.
Last month, the IAEA reported that Iran’s unwillingness to cooperate with international investigators would cause a transparency problem.
The international watchdog said in its June monthly report on Iran that Tehran's stockpile of low-enriched uranium gas dropped below the maximum level required under the 2013 demands, but it insists upon a comprehensive investigation of the nuclear sites.
However, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei echoed the views of the hardline revolutionary guards who essentially objected to the IAEA’s access to Iran’s military sites.
If a final deal can be sealed, the UN Security Council will decide in one month whether to abolish the UN sanction regime as of by the beginning of 2016, a move that will also require to be approved by both the US Congress and Iranian parliament.