Federal Foreign Minister Frank‑Walter Steinmeier issued the following statement after a meeting with his British, French and US opposite numbers, Philip Hammond, Laurent Fabius and John Kerry in London in the evening of 21 March:
The negotiations on the Iranian nuclear programme have taken us down a long road. The talks began more than a decade ago. Now we have entered the final phase.
For the first time in all the years of negotiations, a diplomatic solution is now within reach. It could succeed.
We are not talking about a choice between a good and a bad agreement. What we need from the negotiations is a reasonable outcome which prevents Iran from gaining access to nuclear weapons technology comprehensively, durably and verifiably.
Nobody can know whether we will achieve this and whether the gulf that still divides us can be overcome. However, our impression is that Iran, too, is interested in a comprehensive and conclusive political solution and is negotiating seriously towards this goal.
Now it is important that we enter this final, decisive stage with a joint, united stance. Our talks have been very useful. We have reviewed the current status of the negotiations and coordinated our position for the talks in the coming days.
The joint declaration of the Foreign Ministers of Germany, France, the United States and the United Kingdom after the consultations in London reads as follows:
We, the Foreign Ministers of France, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States, together with the EU High Representative, met this afternoon to review progress in the nuclear negotiations with Iran.
We agreed that substantial progress had been made in key areas although there are still important issues on which no agreement has yet been possible. Now is the time for Iran, in particular, to take difficult decisions. Our negotiators, together with those from China and Russia, will resume meetings with Iran next week in Lausanne.
We reaffirmed that we are all equally committed to finding a solution that ensures that Iran’s nuclear programme remains exclusively peaceful in line with its stated commitment. Any solution must be comprehensive, durable and verifiable. None of our countries can subscribe to a deal that does not meet these terms.
These negotiations are a shared effort among the E3+3 coordinated by the EU. Experts in different disciplines from every member of the group are contributing in depth to our coordinated negotiating positions and this coordination, as well as multiple bilateral talks with Iran, will continue to be a vital part of achieving success.
We are at an important moment in the negotiations. If we are able to resolve all the main issues, technical work will follow to convert a framework into a detailed text.
We will all continue to work together with unity of purpose to secure a successful outcome.