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‘Big gaps’ remain in Iran nuclear talks

‘Big gaps’ remain in Iran nuclear talks thumbnail

Top level diplomats of the US and Germany have said that there were still serious gaps in talks over Iran’s nuclear programme, despite signs of some progress two days before a deadline to reach a deal between Iran and major powers.

Six major powers – the US, UK, France, Germany, Russia and China –  began a final round of talks  with Iran in Vienna on Tuesday, looking to seal a deal under which the country would curb its nuclear work in exchange for a lifting of economically crippling sanctions.

“We are working hard … We hope we are making careful progress, but we have big gaps, we still have some serious gaps, which we’re working to close,” Kerry, US secretary of state, said on Saturday in the Austrian capital after meeting Frank-Walter Steinmeier, the German foreign minister.

On his part, Steinmeier said that the outcome of Iran’s nuclear talks with six world powers was “completely open”.

“I think I can say that we have never been so close to a deal and that the atmosphere of the negotiations is very constructive, but we should be aware that there are still big gaps on certain issues,” he said as he joined the talks.

“If Iran is ready to take this opportunity then movement is possible … Whether we can get a result is right now completely open.”

Philip Hammond, British foreign secretary, said on Friday: “We have to get more flexibility from the Iranians … . In return we are prepared to show some flexibility on our side. But time is short. We are up against a deadline [Monday] here.”

Western powers suspect Iran has aimed to covertly acquire a nuclear bomb capability from its enrichment of uranium.

Iran says the programme is for producing civilian energy only.

Iranian officials have refused to reduce the volume of uranium they are capable of enriching, a stand Western officials say is unacceptable as this would potentially allow Iran to amass enough fissile material for an atomic bomb in little time.

Another sticking point is the pace and sequencing of sanctions relief. Iran wants them terminated swiftly, not suspended and gradually scrapped, depending on the degree of Iranian compliance with the deal terms, as the West wants.

Another dispute is over the deal’s duration: Western countries want it to be up to 20 years but Iran wants this much shorter.

An interim accord struck on November 24 last year yielded steps by Iran to curb some sensitive nuclear activity, such as higher-grade enrichment, in return for some sanctions relief.


4 Comments on "‘Big gaps’ remain in Iran nuclear talks"

  1. GregT on Thu, 27th Nov 2014 12:14 pm 

    The biggest ‘gaps’ are the ones between the ears of the two pictured in the photo above. Especially the one on the right.

  2. Norm on Thu, 27th Nov 2014 1:49 pm 

    Kerry is the haircut that needs a brain. Why does it always turn out, we want to give the bomb to people who ride camels? Can you even fit a nuclear bomb onto a camel? Its usually the Russians. They give nukes to the guys on camels, just to annoy us and be contrary to US goals.

  3. J-Gav on Thu, 27th Nov 2014 4:56 pm 

    Big gaps, after all the talk about being near an agreement …

    Oh, no shit? Wouldn’t have anything to do with Israel, would it? Shhhhh – but we won’t talk about that, will we?

  4. Makati1 on Thu, 27th Nov 2014 7:05 pm 

    J-Gav, you hit the silent spot. Visit this site and see how much influence Israel has on America:

    American / Israeli Dual Citizens in the American Government:

    Attorney General – Michael Mukasey
    Head of Homeland Security – Michael Chertoff
    Chairman Pentagon’s Defense Policy Board – Richard Perle
    Deputy Defense Secretary (Former) – Paul Wolfowitz
    Under Secretary of Defense – Douglas Feith
    National Security Council Advisor – Elliott Abrams
    Vice President Dick Cheney’s Chief of Staff (Former) – “Scooter” Libby
    White House Deputy Chief of Staff – Joshua Bolten
    Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs – Marc Grossman
    Director of Policy Planning at the State Department – Richard Haass
    U.S. …..

    This is about 1/3 of the list.

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