An Iranian nuclear negotiator offered an upbeat assessment of ongoing international nuclear talks during a news conference for Iranian journalists, but said a preliminary text for a comprehensive agreement may include hundreds of points of dispute, Iranian news outlets reported Wednesday.
Abbas Araqchi, an Iranian deputy foreign minister, said major differences remain over how much uranium Iran will be entitled to enrich after the deal is signed and over the pace at which international sanctions will be lifted from Iran's economy, according to the Iranian news accounts.
He said Iran and the six major world powers in the talks are aiming to complete the deal by a July 20 deadline, but it remains unclear if that can be achieved. They hope to begin drafting a preliminary text, beginning with less contentious areas, on Wednesday, he said.
Araqchi said a failure to meet the deadline would create difficulties for the American delegation, presumably with U.S. lawmakers, some of whom could try to prevent an extension of the talks.
He said Iran is negotiating from a position of strength and could get by without a deal, according to the news outlets, which include the Tasnim, Fars and IRNA news agencies.