Quantcast
Connect with us

Iran calls for nuclear deal deadline extension

Published

on

Iran’s foreign minister called Tuesday for an extension of a looming deadline to strike a potentially historic nuclear deal with world powers, after surprise talks with US Secretary of State John Kerry.

“As we stand now, we have made enough headway to be able to tell our political bosses that this is a process worth continuing,” Zarif told reporters.

ADVERTISEMENT

“This is my recommendation. I am sure secretary Kerry will make the same recommendation.”

Both Zarif and Kerry stressed that they still hoped to secure a deal by the Sunday deadline.

Briefing the press earlier, Kerry said that despite some “tangible progress” there remained “very real gaps on other key issues”.

He and Obama would now discuss whether more time was needed.

“I am returning today to Washington to discuss with President Obama and leaders in Congress over the coming days about the prospects for a comprehensive agreement as well as the path forward if we do not achieve one by July 20,” he said.

ADVERTISEMENT

Kerry said talks would include “the question of whether or not more time is warranted, based on the progress we have made and how things are going.”

He added: “With respect to the issue of July 20, yes, that is still on the table. We are still working and we are going to continue to work.”

An interim accord struck in November between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany expires on July 20.

ADVERTISEMENT

Extending the deadline has always been a possibility in order to keep the parties talking, but Washington in particular has stressed it will not agree to such a move without key concessions from Iran first.

– Mission not accomplished –

The mooted accord is aimed at eradicating fears that Iran might develop nuclear weapons under the guise of its civilian programme after a decade of rising tensions and threats of war.

ADVERTISEMENT

Iran denies seeking the atomic bomb and wants the lifting of crippling UN and Western sanctions.

The six powers want Iran to dramatically reduce in scope its nuclear programme for a lengthy period of time and agree to more intrusive UN inspections.

This would greatly expand the time needed for the Islamic republic to develop a nuclear weapon, should it choose to do so, while giving the world ample warning of any such “breakout” push.

ADVERTISEMENT

Iran on the other hand has stated it wants to expand its nuclear facilities, insisting they are for purely peaceful purposes and that it has the perfect right to nuclear activities under international treaties.

Both sides are also under intense pressure from hardliners at home — midterm US elections are in November — and both are wary of giving too much away after several months of talks.

– ‘Innovative proposal’ –

Kerry, along with the foreign ministers of France, Germany and Britain and the deputy foreign minister of China jetted into the Austrian capital on Sunday seeking to inject some momentum to the negotiations.

ADVERTISEMENT

But the three European ministers left on Sunday evening empty-handed, leaving Kerry to keep trying.

Before leaving Vienna, Kerry also had lunch with EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, lead negotiator in the talks.

Britain’s now former foreign secretary William Hague had said a “huge gap” remained on the key issue of uranium enrichment.

This activity can produce fuel for the country’s sole nuclear plant or, if further enriched, the material for an atomic bomb.

ADVERTISEMENT

Israel, the Middle East’s sole if undeclared nuclear armed state and which together with Washington has refused to rule out military action, is opposed to any enrichment by Iran at all.

Zarif however outlined a possible compromise in an interview with the New York Times published on Tuesday.

This “innovative proposal” would see Iran essentially freeze its enrichment capacities at current levels for between three and seven years.

Kerry stuck to his guns on Tuesday, saying that nothing short of a reduction in Iran’s enrichment capacities was acceptable.

“We have made it crystal clear that the 19,000 (centrifuge enrichment machines) that are currently part of their programme is too many,” Kerry said.

ADVERTISEMENT

A senior US official said last week the programme should be limited for a “double digit” number of years.


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Don’t be fooled by recent rulings: ‘Deeply conservative’ John Roberts has a long game

Published

on

In the right-wing media, U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts is being slammed as a traitor to the conservative cause because of his recent rulings on a Louisiana abortion law, LGBTQ rights in the workplace and the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. Many far-right pundits see the 65-year-old Roberts, who was nominated by President George W. Bush in 2005, as a traitor to the conservative cause. But journalist Sam Baker, in a June 10 article for Axios, stresses that Roberts — despite having some nuance — is still decidedly right-wing in his judicial philosophy.

Continue Reading

2020 Election

Trump’s friends calling him over concerns he wants their kids back in school as pandemic rages: report

Published

on

In a deep dive into why Donald Trump is hellbent on sending kids back to school as the coronavirus pandemic continues to rage across the country, the Daily Beast reports that close friends and outside advisers to the president are calling him and questioning the move over fears about their own children.

According to the report, Trump campaign advisers are saying they have polling numbers that show getting schools up and running again appears to be a winning issue with mothers and could help the president pick up some support in the suburbs where he has been polling poorly.

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

The worst may be yet to come as America finally wakes up to Trump’s incompetence and cruelty

Published

on

Since Election Day 2016, America has been in a state of mourning.

Donald Trump's Independence Day speeches offered more of the almost never-ending funeral ceremonies for America's democracy, dignity and decency. Instead of trumpet-like exhortations to American greatness and goodness on the country's birthday, Trump chose to deliver horribly off-key funeral dirges.

This article was originally published at Salon

Continue Reading
 
 
You need honest news coverage. Help us deliver it. Join Raw Story Investigates for $1. Go ad-free.
close-image