GENEVA – Iran’s nuclear envoy in Geneva said Friday that an initial agreement has been reached on how to implement a nuclear deal with six world powers.
Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi, in comments to the official IRNA news agency, said world powers and the Iranian government should respond within two days about whether they accept the terms, which he did not reveal.
It maps out a first-step agreement for six months as diplomats from Iran and the so-called P5+1 – the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany – negotiate a permanent agreement. The five veto-wielding Security Council members are Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States.
The European Union, whose negotiators Catherine Ashton and Helga Schmid represent the P5+1, reported on Twitter that Araghchi and Schmid made very good progress “on all pertinent issues” related to implementing the Nov. 24 deal — which would require Iran to stop some of its nuclear activities in exchange for some sanctions being dropped.
Araghchi told IRNA that “technical and political differences were settled through a solution” that must go to capitals for approval.
“The result will be announced within the next two days,” said Araghchi, after which “the first step will be taken for implementation” of the November deal.
Iran insists it has no interest in nuclear weapons, only nuclear power, but the United States and its allies are skeptical. Limiting uranium enrichment is one of the core aims of the six-month interim deal.
Enriched uranium, depending on its grade, can be used either for reactor fuel or — at levels above 90 percent — for the fissile core of a nuclear warhead.
The details of the initial agreement were not clear. But two officials have told The Associated Press that Iran was coming to the table with demands to exempt a facility used for research and the development of uranium enrichment from the overall curbs on its enrichment.
That is something that has been opposed by the six powers.
Associated Press writer George Jahn in Vienna contributed to this report.