LATEST: Iran & 5+1 Powers Agree on Implementation of Interim Nuclear Deal


Even as high-level nuclear talks resumed in Geneva, the Supreme Leader grabbed headlines on Thursday with a statement which denounced the US place in the process.

Ayatollah Khamanei, starting a diatribe against America over diplomacy and human rights, said, “The recent negotiations have shown America’s hostility and inability.”

So was the Supreme Leader declaring an end to the talks, as his negotiators and those of the 5+1 Powers — including lead American negotiator Wendy Sherman — were discussing how to implement November’s nuclear deal?

Not quite. Dissecting his language, you could find Ayatollah Khamenei saying the negotiations would continue — providing that they showed Iran’s strength against the Americans and that Tehran did not give way on its “red lines” over enrichment of uranium and sanctions:

One of the boons of the recent #talks was that the enmity of US authorities with Iran, Iranians, and Islam and Muslims was elucidated to everyone.

Of course, it is possible that all the hostility will eventually retreat, but we must not be surprised by the enemy or his fronts and we must not take the enemy’s smile seriously and be deceived by it.

The goal of Iran is to reach the ideals of Islam, meaning the spiritual and material progress of humanity. Reaching this goal is not possible except with faith, insight into ongoing issues, and not being surprised by the enemy….

When the enemy is confronted with a determined and resistant nation, it has no recourse except retreat. This fantasy that the nation of Iran has come to the negotiations table because of sanctions is a downright mistake, and the nation of Iran will shatter the enemies’ mistake.

We have previously announced that the Iranian system will negotiate with this Satan on specific issues that it considers expedient in order to fix [the enemies’] evils and solve the problems.

Meanwhile, the first day of the nuclear talks in Geneva ended with no indication whether the negotiators had resolved the “political issues” in the way of a January 20 date for implementation of the interim deal.

The lead Iranian negotiator, Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi, said the negotiations were “very serious and technical…“on the remaining differences. What we are now trying to do is to find a common understanding and interpretation of the text.”

Araqchi met the lead 5+1 negotiator, the European Union’s Helga Schmid, and his American counterpart Sherman. He and Sherman later had a bilateral discussion.

Araqchi and Ashton will continue the talks on Friday without Sherman, who stopped in Geneva en route to Russia.

None of the diplomats indicated which issues were preventing agreement. Unnamed “Western” sources have told journalists that the sticking point is whether Iran can introduce new centrifuges to its enrichment plants.

Iran & 5+1 Powers Agree on Implementation of Interim Nuclear Deal

Iran’s lead nuclear negotiator, Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi, has said that Tehran and the 5+1 Powers (US, Britain, Germany, France, Russia, and Chian) have reached agreement on “outstanding issues” over implementation of November’s interim nuclear deal.

Araqchi made the statement after two days of meetings with the 5+1 lead negotiator, the European Union’s Helga Schmid, and American counterpart Wendy Sherman.

The Deputy Foreign Minister said that all sides are taking the agreement to the capitals of Iran and the 5+1 Powers. If accepted by the governments, an official announcement will be made within the next few days.

Michael Mann, spokesman for the 5+1 Powers, echoed:

The Iranians had said earlier this month, before Araqchi pointed to “unresolved political issues”, that the agreement over enrichment and sanctions would begin January 20.

Earlier in the day, the Tehran Friday Prayer Leader, Ayatollah Movahedi Kermani had echoed Thursday’s scepticism of the Supreme Leader about the Americans in the negotiatons:

These must be calculated and contemplated carefully. Are the words and phrases in this nuclear deal clear enough and well thought about?

The people, and particularly the revolutionary folks have concerns, which I do not know whether there is rational ground for such worries or not, but they do exist.

Negotiations with Russia for Major “Oil-for-Goods Swap” — Would Raise Iran’s Exports 50%

Reuters, citing “Russian and Iranian sources close to the barter negotiations”, say Tehran and Moscow are negotiating an oil-for-goods swap worth $1.5 billion per month.

The sources said final details are being discussed for a deal that in which Moscow would buy up to 500,000 barrels a day of Iranian oil — more than half of the current level of Tehran’s exports — in exchange for Russian equipment and goods.

No details were available about the equipment and goods on offer from Russia.

Iran’s biggest oil buyer is China, which imported about 420,000 bpd in 2013.

Tehran’s oil exports have fallen, under the pressure of US-led sanctions, from 2.2 million bpd at the start of 2012 to less than 900,000 bpd at the end of 2013.

3 Arrested Over Missing Iranian-British Man in Dubai

Three men have been arrested in Dubai over the disappearance of a British businessman of Iranian origin feared to have been abducted and murdered.

The whereabouts of Abbas Yazdi, last seen on 25 June, remain unknown but the emirate’s authorities said they had forensic evidence linking the suspects with his kidnapping “beyond doubt”.

The hearing was considering a dispute involving the National Iranian Oil Company, owned by the Tehran government – and references to information supplied by UK officials are reported to have emerged during the case.

Last month, former director of public prosecutions Lord Macdonald said Mr Yazdi was likely to have been killed by the Iranian authorities after they were supplied with the information.

He claimed the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) had handed over hundreds of files from Mr Yazdi’s computers to the authorities in Tehran following a request made through the UK’s Home Office.