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Iran Says Negotiators To Start Drafting Final Nuclear Deal On April 30

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif speaks at the New York University Center on International Cooperation in New York on April 29.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says negotiators from Tehran and six world powers will start drafting a final nuclear agreement on the morning of April 30 at negotiations in New York.

He said the negotiators would include foreign ministers and deputy foreign ministers from Iran and the so-called P5+1 -- the United States, Britain, France, Russia, and China, plus Germany.

Zarif made the remarks on April 29 in New York, where he is attending a review conference on the 1970s Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.

Zarif said Tehran wants to reach a permanent nuclear deal with the P5 +1 before the negotiators' self-imposed deadline of June 30.

But he said that "no time deadline is sacrosanct."

Zarif said remaining differences in the "wording" of an accord can be overcome to reach a permanent nuclear agreement that lifts economic sanctions against Iran in exchange for verifiable guarantees that Tehran is not trying to secretly develop nuclear weapons.

"There are wording problems that pertain to all issues. I don't think problems are insurmountable, I think they can be resolved and I think they will be resolved," he said.

Zarif also said provisions that strictly define how international inspectors would operate to confirm that Tehran continues to comply with a final nuclear deal could be covered in an additional protocol.

"Iran is prepared within an agreement to accept the additional protocol and I think with that you will have all the transparency you need, which is legally defined," he said.

"It's not arbitrary. What Iran's leader has said and what we will continue to say is that we will not accept arbitrary encroachment on our sovereignty."

Zarif comments came after he met on April 27 with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.

He said Iran expected that United Nations sanctions would be lifted within a few days of a final deal.

Speaking about opposition from U.S. Republican lawmakers against the lifting of U.S. sanctions on Iran under a final nuclear deal, Zarif said he expected President Barack Obama would have to resolve the issue in Washington.

Zarif said, "How he does is his problem."

With reporting by Golnaz Esfandiari in Washington, Reuters, and AP
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