Russian FM Lavrov: “Very Good Chance” of Nuclear Deal
Officials Admit Problems with Control of Insurgency on Pakistan Border


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Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has signalled a shift in Iran’s position, removing one of the last obstacles to an interim nuclear deal in Geneva this week.

“We consider that Iran’s right to enrich [uranium] is unnegotiable, but we see no need for that to be recognized as ‘a right’, because this right is inalienable and all countries must respect that,” Zarif told the Iranian Students News Agency on Sunday.

Last weekend, the interim deal stalled when France objected to recognition of Iran’s right to enrich in the preamble of the agreement.

Zarif maintained confidentiality on other issues, “We have reached a very sensitive stage of negotiations and at this stage we do not want to get into the details.”

However, the Foreign Minister repeated one of Tehran’s core demands in return for limits on its enrichment, “It is necessary for them to…lift the sanctions and economic pressures they have put on the people of Iran. We are moving in that direction.”

Russian FM Lavrov: “Very Good Chance” of Nuclear Deal

On Friday, a “senior US administration official” gave an upbeat briefing to the media on a possible agreement at nuclear talks on November 21-22 in Geneva.

On Saturday, it was Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov’s turn to speak of the “very good chance” to clinch an interim deal over Iran’s nuclear program.

“Our common impression is that there is a very good chance that must not be passed up,” Lavrov said of his recent discussion with Catherine Ashton, the lead negotiator for the 5+1 Powers (US, Britain, China, Germany, France, and Russia).

“The steps that must be taken to defuse the situation and create conditions for a final resolution of the Iranian nuclear problem are clear to both the six nations and Iran,” the Foreign Minister told the Moscow-based TV channel Tsentr.

“It is a matter of putting this on paper correctly, accurately and in a mutually respectful way,” he added. “These points have been determined, and now there are no fundamental disagreements on which issues need to be resolved in practice.”

Officials Admit Problems with Control of Insurgency on Pakistan Border

In a rare admission of failure, regime officials have spoken of difficulties dealing with the Sunni insurgency in Sistan Baluchestan Province in southeastern Iran.

Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli vowed to overcome deficiencies in border control in the Saravan region, following attacks including the killing of 14 border guards last month.

The Sunni insurgency Jaish ul-Adl, formed last year, has claimed responsibility. In response, Iranian authorities executed 16 insurgents who were already in detention.

“The border control vacuums in Saravan region will be filled soon and the borders of Sistan and Balauchestan will be controlled more seriously and precisely,” Fazli told reporters.

The minister said that Iran has discussed the Saravan terrorist attack with Pakistani officials, declaring, “Serious and precise protection of Sistan and Balouchestan borders is now even under more attention than before and those parts the border which have not been sealed will be controlled within the next six months, especially in Saravan region.”

Iran’s Chief of Police Esmail Ahmadi Moqaddam spoke of a “tough battle against any kind of terrorist activity” and said, “We will do our best to maintain security in the region.”