Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi has expressed optimism about a final deal between Iran and the P5+1 countries over Tehran’s nuclear program, saying a consensus is within reach.
"The nuclear talks have been going on for more than 10 years, with intensified talks being held during recent years. I think it's now fair to say that basic elements of the negotiation are in place,” Wang said on Friday.
He added that a mutual understanding reached between Iran and the six global powers in the Swiss city of Lausanne “covers all questions concerned, and the basic framework of a nuclear accord has been formed.”
“I think the time has now come for the Iran nuclear issue to be solved," the Chinese minister said.
He noted that all relevant parties are making concerted efforts in a bid to ensure a possible comprehensive agreement before the July 7 deadline.
The negotiating parties cannot shy away from certain important and sensitive issues which have not been settled yet, he said.
"The Chinese side brought in a couple of solutions to solve the nuclear issue, and I will join my fellow foreign ministers for more detailed discussions. Hopefully a consensus can be reached among the parties concerned," Wang said.
Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council - the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China -- plus Germany had set June 30 as the deadline to agree on a final nuclear deal, but the ongoing talks in the Austrian capital of Vienna missed the target date as some issues remain unresolved between the two sides.
Iran and the six countries gave themselves another extra week to continue intensive talks in Vienna to hammer out the final deal by July 7.
Thorny issues remain: Iran FM
Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Friday that Iran and the P5+1 countries managed to make progress in the nuclear talks aimed at finalizing a nuclear deal, but that difficult issues still linger on.
“Although tough issues remain, I think that we can reach an agreement with a political will,” Zarif added.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif talks to media from the balcony of the Palais Coburg Hotel, the venue of the nuclear talks, in the Austrian capital of Vienna on July 2, 2015. © AFP
He emphasized that all the negotiating parties are trying hard to advance the work.
In a video message on Friday, the Iranian foreign minister said Iran and the six world powers “have never been closer to a lasting outcome.”
“Getting to yes requires the courage to compromise, the self-confidence to be flexible, the maturity to be reasonable, the wisdom to set aside illusions and the audacity to break old habits,” Zarif said.
He also noted Tehran was ready to “strike a balanced and good deal and open new horizons to address important common challenges."