0619 GMT December 15, 2019
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, European Union foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, and US Secretary of State John Kerry joined the talks on Wednesday.
Participants are expected to discuss obstacles to a final agreement for ending the longstanding nuclear dispute.
Zarif said on Wednesday “considerable” differences linger in the ongoing talks between Tehran and the P5+1, but stressed that they are resolvable.
“In this round of talks, we are discussing a solution to put an end to the differences. There are, indeed, considerable differences, but that does not mean these differences cannot be resolved,” Zarif told reporters.
Zarif, who heads the Iranian negotiating team in nuclear talks, made the remarks after a meeting with Ashton who represents the six world powers in the talks.
The Iranian minister said the outstanding issues and possible solutions to them were discussed with Ashton and in meetings between his deputies and representatives of P5+1.
He underlined the need for “serious” and “innovative” solutions to settle the differences, but stressed that the talks, which started on Tuesday, may take more time than expected to work out such solutions.
Zarif noted that the talks on Thursday will be attended by “political directors” from P5+1 as part of efforts to find “a common ground”.
Kerry said on Tuesday it is possible for the sextet of world powers and Iran to arrive at a final nuclear agreement by the November 24 deadline, stressing that it's not out of reach.
Kerry, however, said “we have some tough issues to resolve.”
A senior US official said on Wednesday a deal on Iran's nuclear program was still possible by late next month and there were no talks now about extending the deadline, after Tehran and Moscow indicated more time may be needed.
Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Tuesday the deadline to strike a nuclear deal with Iran is "not sacred".
"I am sure that a compromise is possible. But I cannot guarantee that this can absolutely be done by November 24.
"This is not a sacred date. We aspire to get a result by that date but I am convinced by the principle that it is not artificially-set deadlines but the essence of the deal, the quality of the deal (that counts)," Lavrov said in Paris after meeting Kerry.