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Chinese, Iranian FMs hold talks over nuclear issue

Updated: Nov 24,2014 7:20 PM     Xinhua

VIENNA — Foreign Minister Wang Yi held talks with his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif on Nov 24 on the sidelines of a multilateral dialogue on Iran’s nuclear issue.

Noting that negotiations over the Iranian nuclear issue have made significant progress recently, Wang said China, as a responsible negotiating party, has always been dedicated to promoting peace and dialogue and looking to help reach a comprehensive agreement over the matter, which meets the common interests of the international community, including Iran.

As the negotiations enter a crucial stage, China holds a fair and objective stance and has broached new ways of thinking for resolving the remaining focal issues, hoping to add new impetus to the negotiations, he said.

For his part, Zarif appreciated the positive and constructive role that China has been playing in Iran’s nuclear talks.

Iran is committed to reaching a comprehensive deal and is willing to keep close contacts with China on this issue to jointly promote the negotiation process, he added.

Negotiators from Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany (the P5+1) have gathered in the Austrian capital of Vienna for a comprehensive agreement on the Iranian nuclear issue by the Nov 24 deadline.

But the parties cannot bridge the remaining major differences as the West wants Iran to significantly scale back its nuclear program while Iran insists its nuclear right is inalienable.

The sticking points are how many uranium enrichment centrifuges Iran can have and the speed of lifting sanctions.

“If we don’t have enough time here, I believe all the parties concerned will continue to think about whether we will be able to extend the duration of this negotiation and how long it will be extended,” Wang proposed.