Iran, P5+1 negotiations enter sensitive stage amid looming deadline


Nuclear negotiations in Vienna have entered a sensitive stage as the US, French, British and German foreign ministers engage in serious discussions with Iran’s Mohammad Javad Zarif.
Speculations were running high on Friday that Zarif would fly back to Tehran for further consultations but the foreign minister dismissed those claims, saying the other side has not presented any new proposal. Just before entering into the talks, Germany’s foreign minister said though the atmosphere is constructive, the sides stand apart on many issues. Britain’s Philip Hammond and John Kerry said there are significant and serious gaps. It seems clear that none of the parties are looking for an extension of the talks and so far three possible outcomes are being considered. One would be failure, the other a general agreement on the broader issues concerning sanctions and enrichment, which would entail additional negotiations beyond the Monday deadline to resolve the remaining issues. A third scenario would include intervention from a possible mediator. The main gaps are centered on enrichment and sanctions. Iran’s asserted goal is to have an industrial enrichment capacity of 190,000 separative work units, a specialist term measured in kilograms per year. The questions being discussed are when and with how many centrifuges Iran will start moving toward that goal and how long it will take the country to achieve its purpose. Iran says it will respond with revocable measures towards a suspension of sanctions and with irrevocable measures towards a complete lifting of bans. The sides look far apart concerning the timing of sanctions removal. Tehran says it’s been offering the other side various proposals and ideas that could lead to solutions but that it’s not seeing real, workable and new proposals from the P5+1.

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