The New York Times reports: Iran’s chief diplomat said on Saturday that he had had productive discussions with his European counterparts and that Iranian negotiators were ready to begin drafting an initial agreement on a nuclear accord.
“I believe that France and Germany are serious about an agreement,” said Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iran’s foreign minister. “We are ready to draft.”
Western diplomats said the atmosphere in the talks was workmanlike. But they also cautioned that gaps remained and that it was still unclear if they could be bridged.
Negotiators are trying to meet a Tuesday deadline for settling on the main parameters of an accord. Once that step is taken, a comprehensive agreement with detailed technical addendums is to be finished by the end of June.
With the deadline just days away, foreign ministers from other world powers began arriving here to join Secretary of State John Kerry and Mr. Zarif, who have been meeting since Thursday. The arrival of the French and German foreign ministers on Saturday was generally seen as an indication that the talks were approaching a pivotal moment. [Continue reading…]