EU Official: Nuclear Talks With Iran on Right Track for a Final Agreement

(Reuters) —
A camera directed on Palais Coburg, where closed-door nuclear talks take place in Vienna, Austria, Dec. 17, 2021. (AP Photo/Michael Gruber)

The nuclear talks with Iran in Vienna are moving in the right direction and a final agreement may be within reach, a senior European Union official said on Friday.

“My assessment is that we are on the right track for a final agreement,” the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said, referring to “small” progress in a number of issues.

“My concern, more than in the substance, is about the timing. There I have a feeling that we are going too slow. It would be an incredible mistake if, because of timing, we would not get a good solution,” the official said without elaborating. “Still, I think that we will have an agreement… and I think that it will be rather sooner than later.”

Separately, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian said that in talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov he had discussed Russia stepping up the building of new power plants in Iran.

Iran‘s nuclear energy body said on Friday the construction by Russia of the second and third units of its Bushehr power plant was advancing according to Iran‘s plan to produce at least 10,000 megawatts of electricity using nuclear power.

“The implementation process is underway based on the plan and almost without delay, despite delays in financial payments,” Behrouz Kamalvandi, spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, told the state news agency IRNA.

Iran, which owes Russia at least $500 million for the Bushehr project according to media reports, has blamed U.S. sanctions for delays in paying the debt.

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