Iran nuclear talks reach final stage in Switzerland

Delegates from major powers and Iran on Friday continued nuclear talks into its final stretch to ink a framework agreement ahead of a March 31 deadline.

After 90 minutes of negotiations with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Friday morning, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told reporters: “Our feeling is that we certainly will be able to reach an agreement, but that will need political will on the other side.”

During the day, Iranian Deputy Foreign Ministers Abbas Araqchi and Majid Takht Ravanchi convened bilateral talks with Chinese representative Wang Qun.

Iran state news agency IRNA Friday quoted Araqchi as saying: “We are trying to reach a solution in all disputed issues and the solutions will be compiled in the upcoming months.”

However, representatives of the P5+1 (namely the United States, China, Russia, France, Britain, plus Germany) and Iran did not hold their second plenary meeting as expected.

Foreign ministers from Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia are expected to join the talks later the week, a sign that a possible framework agreement might be within reach.

A source close to the Chinese delegation confirmed to Xinhua that China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi will join the talks on Sunday.

German Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Martin Schaefer on Friday said German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier may head to Lausanne over the weekend to join the talks, adding that there was “realistic hope” that a political agreement on a nuclear accord could be reached by the deadline.

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