Iran says nuclear deal possible if US lifts sanctions

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Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javid Zarif said on Monday that a deal on Iran’s nuclear programme could arrive this week if the US and other Western countries agree to lift sanctions on Tehran.

In a statement to the press in Geneva on Monday, Zarif stressed the importance of lifting sanctions for a final nuclear pact to be reached.

“Our negotiating partners, particularly the Western countries and particularly the United States, must once and for all come to the understanding that sanctions and agreement don’t go together,” Zarif said.

“If they want an agreement, sanctions must go…We believe all sanctions must be lifted,” he added.

Zarif asserted that Iran had already proved its political will to reach an agreement by participating in the talks.

He also added that it is possible to mould a final agreement during this week’s US-Iran talks.

“We have made some progress since last time and if there is the political will to accept that an agreement and sanctions cannot go together, then we can have an agreement this time.”

Talks commenced between Tehran and the six powers “P5+1” last January with the aim of resolving the stand off over Iran’s nuclear programme.

The “P5+1″ includes the five permanent member states at the United Nations Security Council which have veto power: the United States, France, Russia, China and Britain, in addition to Germany.

Iran and six world powers had decided to extend the nuclear talks to July 2015 after failing to reach a comprehensive agreement in November of last year.

The talks aim to settle a pact under which Tehran would limit its nuclear activities in exchange for lifting the crippling sanctions.