WASHINGTON: In the latest sign a nuclear deal between world powers and Iran is imminent, British foreign minister Philip Hammond said Friday he was ready to join the talks this weekend.
Hammond, speaking to reporters on a visit to Washington, said the deal was close but that it was not clear how it would be presented or whether there would be a written accord.
“We’re hopeful that we’re going to be making that progress over the next 48 hours, and I’m ready to go whenever I need to go, over the weekend,” he said.
Earlier, the foreign ministry in London had said Hammond would head to the Lausanne talks over the weekend, but the minister said he would only fly to Switzerland if there was an immediate prospect of progress.
“I’m going back to London and I will go to Lausanne as soon as it’s appropriate to be there,” he said, explaining that the talks were in a highly technical phase.
Hammond noted that a previous round of talks held in Vienna last November failed, and said he was now wary of “going and sitting in a hotel room for two days.”
“It’s only an hour, an hour-and-a-half, flight away,” he said. “I will jump on a plane and go to Lausanne as soon as we sense that we’re getting to the point where we need to sit down.”
As to how the eventual deal might be presented, Hammond stressed it would be a political outline of an agreement that would be finalized in detail over the coming months.