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Rouhani: Courage needed to clinch nuclear deal

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Iran President Hassan Rouhani said Friday “courageous decisions” must be made to clinch a long-term nuclear agreement and that any deal without the lifting of all sanctions against Tehran was “unacceptable.”

Speaking to reporters in New York on the sidelines of the annual U.N. General Assembly, he added that progress in the latest round of talks between Iran and six world powers has been “extremely slow.”

“We must look forward to the future and make the courageous decisions vis-a-vis this problem,” Rouhani said.

“ Iran will never surrender its legal right to civilian nuclear activities,” he added. “Enrichment will continue on our soil.”

“Sanctions should be lifted totally and altogether and any agreement that does not have that will not be acceptable for Iran. This agreement will be beneficial for Iran, the P5+1 and for stability in the region,” he said.

A long-term deal, he said, would benefit Iran, the six powers – United States, Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia – and help to stabilize the Middle East.

Officials from Iran and the six countries had originally said a breakthrough in New York was unlikely on a nuclear deal to end sanctions on Tehran, although they had hoped substantial progress could be made in narrowing disagreements. That, the diplomats said, did not happen.

“On the core issues we remain pretty far apart,” a Western diplomat told reporters on condition of anonymity. “On enrichment, we are not there yet. On sanctions, we are not there yet.”

The diplomat said that they would likely meet again in the coming weeks, but no date and venue have been set.

A senior Iranian official had a similarly sober assessment of the talks, which have been taking place on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York: “Despite hours of talks and meetings, there has not been progress to overcome major differences, not even one inch.”

Earlier, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius told reporters there had been “no significant advances” in the latest talks, prompting the parties to cancel a scheduled negotiating session on Friday. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton met with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif late Thursday and again Friday to discuss next steps in the deadlocked negotiations, the Western diplomat said.

The diplomat said Rouhani, who held bilateral meetings with top European officials in New York this week, had nothing to offer to move the talks forward.

“There was nothing really new from him,” the diplomat said. “He said we should not miss this historic opportunity over a couple of centrifuges. And by the way, we think the same way.”

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said he remained “cautiously optimistic.”

“We still have time,” he told reporters at U.N. headquarters in New York as the clock ticks down to November.

“We will do our utmost to make sure that remaining small, but extremely important, issues be resolved in a way that is acceptable to all,” Lavrov said.

daily star

One Comment on "Rouhani: Courage needed to clinch nuclear deal"

  1. GregT on Sat, 27th Sep 2014 1:06 pm 

    “A long-term deal, he said, would benefit Iran, the six powers – United States, Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia – and help to stabilize the Middle East.”

    This is exactly why a deal will not be reached. TPTB have no desire for a plan that will benefit Germany, China, and especially not Russia. The destabilization of the ME will continue as planned. Once Syria has been taken down, Iran will be next.

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