Iran urges US, allies to end pressure and strike deal

Iran`s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif urged the United States and five other world powers Friday to drop the pressure in nuclear negotiations and agree a deal.

AFP| Last Updated: Mar 20, 2015, 16:39 PM IST
Iran urges US, allies to end pressure and strike deal

Tehran: Iran`s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif urged the United States and five other world powers Friday to drop the pressure in nuclear negotiations and agree a deal.

In an apparent response to US President Barack Obama, who said Thursday that Iran faced a choice between the path of isolation or that of greater opportunities, Zarif said it was the other side that had to make a decision.

"Iranians have already made their choice: Engage with dignity. It`s high time for the US and its allies to chose: pressure or agreement," Zarif wrote in a message posted on his official Twitter account.

Obama`s remarks came in a video address to mark the Persian new year festival of Nowruz, which he said he was using to speak directly to the people and leaders of Iran.

The US president`s near five-minute message came as the P5+1 group of world powers (Britain, China, France, Russia, the US plus Germany) are locked in talks in the Swiss city of Lausanne.

Mixed messages from the negotiations emerged earlier in the day, where US Secretary of State John Kerry and Zarif had hailed "progress," but a European negotiator said Iran and the six major powers were "pretty far from a deal".

Zarif and members of Iran`s negotiating team have in recent weeks said the P5+1 needed more "political will" to conclude the talks and that the Islamic republic would not submit to pressure.