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Iran Daily, March 19: Latest Iran-US Nuclear Talks Continue in Switzerland

Iran Daily, March 19: Latest Iran-US Nuclear Talks Continue in Switzerland
March 19
09:07 2015

PHOTO: US Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif

THURSDAY FEATURE

Audio Analysis: Debating the US “Analyst” Calling for War


UPDATE 1600 GMT: Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and US Secretary of State John Kerry remained in Lausanne on Thursday, with the Iranian and American delegations meeting in the Swiss city this morning.

Kerry said after the session, “We are pushing some tough issues, but we made progress.”

An afternoon meeting between Zarif and Kerry has been postponed, but they are now scheduled to convene at 5:30 p.m. local time, with top technical negotiators Ali Akbar Salehi and Ernest Moniz conferring at the same time.

Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi and US Undersecretary of State Wendy Sherman are currently holding a preparatory meeting.

Contrasting images of Zarif….

The Foreign Minister with senior Iranian negotiator Majid Takht-e Ravanchi:

ZARIF RAVANCHI

An Zarif in heated discussion with Iran’s top technical negotiator, Ali Akbar Salehi:

ZARIF SALEHI


Iran and the US continued four days of nuclear talks in Switzerland on Wednesday, with no sign of a breakthrough for a comprehensive deal by an informal deadline of March 31 — set by the Americans — and a formal cut-off of July 1.

On Wednesday night, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and US Secretary John Kerry and their teams carried out political negotiations, accompanied by the European Union’s deputy foreign policy chief Helga Schmid. Meanwhile, the head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, Ali Akbar Salehi, continued technical discussions with US Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz.

The lead Iranian negotiator, Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi, also conferred with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov during the day.

In a sign that a resolution is not imminent, Zarif said it had not been necessary for other Foreign Ministers from the 5+1 Powers (US, Britain, Germany, China, Russia, and France) to attend: “When the solutions are found and we approach a deal, then all the foreign ministers of the negotiating parties should come.”

Zarif flew to Brussels on Monday night to see the British, German, and French Foreign Ministers.

While Iran’s Salehi said hopefully that almost all technical issues had been resolved, US senior officials were cautious. One said, “There is no way around it: We still have a ways to go. Even within this space, we have some tough issues to address.”

See Iran Daily, March 18: Tehran Upbeat But US Cautious in Nuclear Talks

Tehran has made concessions over its number and level of uranium centrifuges and may have agreed to ship almost all of its nuclear fuel out of the country. However, Iran is insisting on a quick lifting of US-led sanctions, while Washington is saying the process must be “gradual”, implying that it will extend over years.

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About Author

Scott Lucas

Scott Lucas

Scott Lucas is Professor of International Politics at the University of Birmingham and editor-in-chief of EA WorldView. He is a specialist in US and British foreign policy and international relations, especially the Middle East and Iran. Formerly he worked as a journalist in the US, writing for newspapers including the Guardian and The Independent and was an essayist for The New Statesman before he founded EA WorldView in November 2008.

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13 Comments

  1. Daniel Doerig
    Daniel Doerig March 19, 11:46

    Amir Taheri ‏@AmirTaheri4 47m47 minutes ago
    Tehran backtracks on Zarif’s stupid demand for another Chapter VII Security Council resolution on the Iranian nuclear issue.

    Amir Taheri ‏@AmirTaheri4 44m44 minutes ago
    TEHRAN: Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Afkham dismisses Zarif’s call for Security Cuncil resolution. “That’s something in the past,” she says.

    Amir Taheri ‏@AmirTaheri4 42m42 minutes ago
    TEHRAN: Calls for Zarif to be fired as Foreign Minister. Kayhan says: he fails to understand rudiments of diplomacy, leading us into trap.

    Reply to this comment
  2. Razmjoo
    Razmjoo March 19, 13:16

    Deadline for a framework deal may have to be extended
    http://www.tasnimnews.com/Home/Single/691225

    French official claims that the two sides are still far apart.

    Reply to this comment
  3. Razmjoo
    Razmjoo March 19, 13:21

    Big differences on R&D and advanced centrifuges
    https://twitter.com/abasinfo/status/578530063102177280

    Reply to this comment
    • RedTornadoes
      RedTornadoes March 19, 15:21

      Superb critique from an Iranian. You couldn’t day it better. The nuke program, like the imperial quest, is a waste of badly needed for other things. Neither exists for the real and proclaimed purposes and wouldn’t be needed at all if not for the pariah provoking aggressiveness of the a leadership.

      The hated, self-enriching ultraconservatives and their fat generals offer the people nothing except corruption, incompetence and bullying social police at home, and must divert public rage away from themselves by making en enemies abroad among nations who would otherwise have no counter-hostility toward Iran and little interest at all other than of the positive sort: tourism (undermined by habib requirements for females) and trade. Russia has exactly the same problem. Self-serving, incompetent and corrupt dictators seeking enemies abroad to subtract from their pure lousy and brutal war at home and too much dependence on oil revenue, most of which goes to the fat generals and narror circle at the top.

      Reply to this comment
      • Menschmaschine
        Menschmaschine March 19, 17:35

        Abandoning its nuclear program would help Iran absolutely nothing, as the example of Iraq has clearly demonstrated. The US and its allies would simply claim that Iran had a clandestine nuclear program and everything would go on as before – only with the difference that Iran now would have lost a valuable bargaining item.

        Reply to this comment
  4. gunny
    gunny March 19, 13:53

    Shocking testimony of an iranian journalist:

    “”Iranian issues are ranging from the nuclear crisis to the collapse of the economy and the systematic financial corruption to the fall in morals, social values and the environmental crisis.

    (…)

    Between these two crises, the immediate one is the nuclear issue which speaks of and stems from the perfect ineptitude, irresponsibility, ignorance and historic backwardness of the leaders in the country.

    This is especially true in those quarters who believed that if they built their huge enrichment facilities behind or under mountains nobody would know of their existence! Or that if they build nuclear bomb-making material in Arak and broadcast to the world that this is a pipe-making plant or something else like a petrochemical plant, the world would believe them and nobody would know that what they were putting together could ultimately be an atomic bomb as well.

    These delusional individuals believed that one day they could surprise everybody with their announcement that they had built something and done something that no other country had accomplished till then.

    Then after everybody was forced to take them seriously, they would settle their scores with Israel and if possible give a small nuclear device to Lebanese Hezbollah to put Israel in its place on their behalf!

    And of course if the people of Iran became too aggressive then they too could be taught a lasting lesson by being nuked, not much different from what colonel Kaddafi and Bashar Assad have done to their own people.

    (…..)

    Is it odd then to say that amid these astronomical financial corruptions and mismanagement the nuclear program that eats up billions of Dollars that could be spent on improving the lot of the ordinary Iranian is a complete waste and a treacherous act?

    In a country whose people are forced to pay with their blood for a dubious nuclear program, the presence of a prison such as Gharchak in Varamin sends the message that the nuclear enrichment facilities and the heavy water reactors are probably not built for the peace and prosperity of its citizens. “”

    http://www.roozonline.com/english/opinion/opinion-article/archive/2015/march/16/article/irans-deep-crises-nuclear-and-judiciary.html

    Reply to this comment
  5. Razmjoo
    Razmjoo March 19, 15:00

    Framework accord at Iran nuclear talks unlikely soon
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/03/19/us-iran-nuclear-talks-idUSKBN0MF1B220150319

    “”There will be no written agreement,” he said. “It will be kind of verbal agreement that will pave the ground for further talks.”

    Reply to this comment
  6. Razmjoo
    Razmjoo March 19, 15:10

    Iran limited to 6K centrifuges in draft accord
    http://bigstory.ap.org/article/4c7ad2158ed944579dc1e7ed6c550899/ap-exclusive-iran-limited-6k-centrifuges-draft-accord

    Among U.S. allies, France is the most adamant about stretching out the duration of the deal. A European official familiar with the French position said it wants a 25-year time-span.

    Reply to this comment
  7. Afshin
    Afshin March 19, 15:39

    From my sources quite the opposite is true. Not only the info I have received is challenging “No Sign of a breakthrough” but is saying that there is a verbal agreement already. Iran would have to cutback 40% on enrichment/ centrifuges and in return the sanctions would be lifted.

    The major hurdle is the republicans controlling both houses. The president can lift most sanctions personally but would need the republicans for the rest.

    Reply to this comment

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