French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius says the time is ripe for a decision in the tough nuclear talks between Iran and the P5+1 grouP as the sides are struggling to nail down a landmark deal.
"Everything is on the table. It's now time to decide," Fabius said after a meeting with Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in the Austrian capital, Vienna, on Saturday.
With a new deadline looming on Monday, the negotiating teams of Iran and the six world powers held separate meetings on Saturday, the 15th day of the tortuous talks.
The Iranian foreign minister also resumed talks with US Secretary of State John Kerry in Hotel Palais Coburg in Vienna in a bid to iron out the remaining disagreements over a final nuclear deal.
The Iranian deputy foreign ministers, Abbas Araqchi and Majid Takht-e Ravanchi, and US Under Secretary for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman were also present in the meeting. Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran Ali Akbar Salehi and US Energy Minister Ernest Moniz attended the meeting as well.
The top Iranian and US diplomats then held another meeting but this time in the presence of the European Union foreign policy chief Frederica Mogherini and discussed the text of a possible final deal and its annexes.
After a 90-minute meeting with his Iranian counterpart, the US secretary of state said in his Twitter account that there are still "difficult issues" to be resolved.
As the nuclear negotiations entered a decisive weekend to strike a long-sought deal, Araqchi, Takht-e Ravanchi met with Sherman and Robert Maley of the US National Security Council. The Iranian deputy foreign ministers also held a meeting with European Union deputy foreign policy chief Helga Schmid.
British Foreign Secretary Phillip Hammond, German Foreign Ministers Frank-Walter Steinmeier and his French counterpart returned to Vienna on Saturday.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his US counterpart had a phone conversation on Kerry's initiative, the Russian Foreign Ministry reported.
According to the report, Lavrov and Kerry "continued discussing the course of the negotiations in Vienna on the work, on the agreement, (and) on the Iranian nuclear program."
On Friday, the Iranian foreign minister told Press TV that the last-ditch negotiations with the five permanent members of the UN Security Council – the US, Britain, France, Russia, China, and Germany would continue through the weekend.
"We're making progress. It seems we are staying here for the weekend. We're working," he said. "We're not there yet".
"We don't have any [deadline], we want a good agreement," Zarif noted.