VIENNA, June 20 (RIA Novosti) – Iran and P5+1 nations negotiating on the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program have laid down the textual framework of the future comprehensive nuclear agreement, the Chinese envoy to the talks said in Vienna on Friday.
“All sides have agreed with the proposed joint textual framework. This is the progress we have made,” said Wang Qun, the director general of the Department of Arms Control of China's Foreign Ministry.
China's top negotiator said an additional round of talks was scheduled to kick off on July 2.
“Discussions will be held on different levels,” the envoy said as he left Hotel Palais Coburg in Vienna. He added the duration of the next round of consultations was still to be agreed on.
Wang Qun said it was quite a breakthrough that the parties had been able to find common ground on the framework agreement only after four days of negotiations. The talks between Iran and the so-called P5+1 group had been going off and on for decades.
The announcement of what could be a breakthrough came as the fifth round of talks was drawing to a close.
On Thursday, a diplomatic source told RIA Novosti that three versions of the agreement were on the table. Negotiating parties also confirmed that they had finally started to draft a final deal that would guarantee the peaceful character of the Iranian nuclear program. In return, the West will ease sanctions which have proved crippling for the nation’s economy.
The group of six major powers — Russia, Britain, France, China and the United States plus Germany — wants Iran to scale back its nuclear program to make sure it won’t build an atomic weapon, while Iran insists its purpose is absolutely peaceful.
The previous interim deal set the deadline for June 20. The parties were to submit the draft of a final agreement or prolong the talks.