Iran’s foreign minister on Friday said the missing component of a potential deal over his nation’s nuclear capabilities is more flexibility.
Mohammad Javad Zarif urged diplomats to open their minds heading into a final July 7 deadline for a lasting accord.
“Getting to yes requires the courage to compromise, the self-confidence to be flexible, the maturity to be reasonable, the wisdom to set aside illusions and the audacity to break old habits,” Zarif said in a video recorded in Vienna.
“I see hope, because I see the emergence of reason over illusion,” he added. “I sense that my negotiating partners have realized that coercion and pressure never lead to lasting solutions, but to more conflict and further hostility.”
The Obama administration is hoping Iran will slow or stop its nuclear arms research in exchange for economic sanctions relief.
Zarif praised the U.S. and its allies Friday for rethinking the financial penalties levied against his nation over its atomic weapons program.
“They realize that the most indiscriminate and unjust economic sanctions against my country have achieved absolutely none of their declared objectives,” he said.
“But instead, they have harmed innocents and antagonized a peaceful and forgiving nation,” Zarif said.
“In politics — as in life — you can’t gain at the expense of others; such gains are always short-lived,” he added. “Only balanced agreements can withstand the test of time.”
Zarif argued successful talks could help integrate Iran into a valuable part of the coalition fighting global terrorism.
“Our common threat today is the growing menace of violent extremism and outright barbarism,” he said.
“The menace we’re facing — and I say we, as no one is spared — is embodied by the hooded men who are ravaging the cradle of civilization,” Zarif said.
“To deal with this new challenge, new approaches are badly needed,” he added. “I hope my counterparts will also turn their focus, and devote their resources, to this existential battle.”
Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia are aiding America’s efforts at the negotiating table with Iran.
A sticking point in recent talks has been how much access is granted to inspectors researching Iran’s military and scientific facilities.
Both sides had originally agreed upon a June 30 deadline for a final deal, but that date was extended earlier this week when a compromise was not in reach.