Vienna: A nuclear deal with Iran is “very close” after nearly two years of negotiations, the EU’s foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said.
Secretary of State John Kerry says the nuclear deal with Iran could “go either way”.
“We want a good agreement, only a good agreement, and we are not going to shave anywhere at the margins in order just to get an agreement”, he said, acknowledging “the world will analyse” the deal if an agreement is reached.
While all sides have reported progress, they have also made clear that key and hard issues remain unresolved.
And although his Iranian counterpart, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, had remarked Friday that the two sides had “never been closer” to reaching a durable agreement, Kerry was careful to avoid talking as though the deal was about to be sealed.
UPDATE 1:45 P.M. EDT: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Sunday warned the emerging deal between Iran and the West over Tehran’s nuclear deal is more of a “breakdown” than a “breakthrough”.
But he conceded: “If we need to stay some more days in Vienna, it is much better to spend some more time here than to go home and then come back”.
Zarif’s deputy, Abbas Araghchi, said over the weekend that an 80-page draft agreement with five annexes is in circulation, and foreign ministers now have to make final decisions on timing and reciprocity.
One crucial provision is whether Iran will allow full worldwide inspections, including of military sites, to guarantee its nuclear program is for civilian purposes only.
Iran rejects the IAEA’s allegations that before 2003, and possibly since, it conducted research into making a nuclear weapon, saying the claims are based on bogus intelligence provided by foreign spy agencies. “That is why the ministers are here”, he said, speaking as top diplomats began crunch talks to try and secure a deal.
Tehran wants a reciprocal so-called “snapback” measure.
However, Kerry also said that “genuine progress” was being made.
In return, countries would drop sanctions that have weakened Iran’s oil-driven economy.
That includes disconnecting centrifuge machines which enrich uranium-a process that can be used to produce fuel for both nuclear energy or nuclear weapons.
Will inspectors visiting Iran be able, at will, to step into any place they suspect might hide bomb-related work? “So the commitment is made beforehand, and the actual termination will happen on the date that Iran will have finished its work”.
The talks are now in overtime mode after pushing past a self-imposed June 30 deadline.
If an agreement arrives at Congress after that, the review period grows to 60 days, potentially increasing political difficulty for the White House in obtaining congressional approval. That would give skeptics more time to rally opposition.
“Well, obviously they’re very anxious”, the Tennessee Republican said of Obama administration officials.
Appearing on a nationally broadcast interview show Sunday, Sen. This FPI Analysis… compiles numerous administration’s own statements on nuclear negotiations with Iran over the past three years, and compares them with current USA positions.
“I did talk to Secretary Kerry yesterday”.