The United States and other world powers must not pressure Iran if they want to reach a nuclear agreement, Tehran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Friday, reacting to a message by US President Barack Obama.

wpid-Dr-Mohammad-Javad-Zarif.jpgObama told the Iranian people and its leaders in a video message that they faced a choice of continued isolation if they rejected the planned nuclear deal, or the opportunity for a brighter economic future if they agreed to it.

“Iranians have already made their choice: Engage with dignity,” Zarif tweeted from Lausanne, Switzerland, where he has been negotiating the agreement with his US counterpart John Kerry.

“It’s high time for the US and its allies to chose: pressure or agreement,” he added.

The US, along with Britain, China, France, Russia and Germany, want Iran to accept significant long-term limits on its civilian nuclear programme that would make it more difficult for Tehran to build nuclear weapons.

In return, they are offering to gradually lift the economic sanctions that have been hurting Iran’s vital oil industry and its overall economy.

“A nuclear deal now can help open the door to a brighter future for you, the Iranian people,” Obama said Thursday in his message on the occasion of the upcoming Persian New Year’s Day on Saturday.

Iran wants sanctions to be lifted much faster than the world powers, and wants to continue more research and development on its controversial uranium enrichment programme, analysts closely following the negotiations have said, highlighting two of the most controversial issues.

While Zarif and Kerry were in Lausanne, British Prime Minister David Cameron, French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel discussed the Iran talks with EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini on the sidelines of an EU summit in Brussels.

Iran and the six world powers aim to work out the outlines of an agreement by the end of the month, and to conclude a detailed agreement by the end of June.

GNA

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