Iran’s Foreign Minister says his country is optimistic that it can reach a final nuclear deal with the six world powers.
"An agreement is very likely — provided that our negotiation partners mean it seriously," Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told Germany's Spiegel magazine on Friday, and quoted by Reuters.
The sides made a major breakthrough at talks with Iran on April 2 by agreeing on the parameters for a final deal to scale back its nuclear capabilities.
The negotiators, however, still have a series of technical issues to resolve by a June 30 deadline for a final deal, including the steps for lifting sanctions imposed on Iran.
Zarif said a month ago that Iran is ready to take "irreversible steps" with regards to the nuclear negotiations if the West does the same.
He has also threatened that Tehran would return to its nuclear activities should world powers renege on their agreement.
In the interview with Spiegel, Zarif criticized Saudi Arabia, which has voiced concern that a nuclear deal could embolden Iran and harm its security.
"Some people in the region are evidently panicking," he said, adding there was no reason to do so. "We don't want to dominate the region. We are happy with our size and geography," he claimed.
The Islamic Republic has clashed with the West, and particularly the United States, over the interpretation of the framework deal, and took particular exception to an American fact sheet released after the framework deal was reached.
Iran has been insisting that all sanctions be lifted immediately for any agreement with the West to go into effect. The State Department was quick to dismiss this demand.
(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)