Who's saying what at the Iran nuclear talks

31st March 2015, Comments 0 comments

After 18 months of talks to rein in Iran's nuclear ambitions, some of the world's top diplomats were negotiating into the night Tuesday with a midnight deadline set to be abandoned.

The marathon talks between Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, and his counterparts and top officials from the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany were continuing down to the wire.

With the talks set to go into Wednesday, it remained unclear whether the negotiators would be able to reach a deal and end the 12-year stand-off over Iran's nuclear ambitions, or fail and risk escalating the crisis.

Below are some of the latest quotes in and around the negotiations.

- Iran -

"The negotiations will end when solutions have been found... We are not watching the clock... We can stay as long as necessary."

- Iranian negotiating team member Hamid Baidinejad

"No one is thinking about what will happen if there is no deal. No one has discussed this in the talks. Everyone is focused on finding solutions."

- Iranian negotiator

- World powers -

"We've made enough progress in the last days to merit staying until Wednesday. There are several difficult issues still remaining."

- Acting State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf

"Let us never negotiate out of fear, but let us never fear to negotiate."

- US President Barack Obama, citing his predecessor John F. Kennedy

"We are making progress. But it's complicated, it's long and difficult. And I'm afraid that we may be going through the night."

- French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius

"The prospects of this round of talks are not bad, even good I would say... Chances are high."

- Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov

"It remains unclear whether we will succeed... It is still too early to talk about stopping the clock, but this may in fact be necessary."

- German diplomatic source

- Outside opponents -

"The greatest threat to our security and our future was and remains Iran's attempt to be armed with nuclear weapons... The agreement being formulated in Lausanne paves the way to that goal."

- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who also denounced the "Iran-Lausanne-Yemen axis" as "dangerous for all of humanity".

"(Don't) short-circuit the interests of the states of the region by dangling before Iran benefits that it will not be able to reap without cooperation with the countries of the region."

- Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal, in an appeal to the world powers negotiating in Lausanne

© 2015 AFP

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