13 Days Remaining

Monday 13th
posted by Morning Star in World

by Our Foreign Desk

NEGOTIATORS will announce a deal on Iran’s nuclear energy programme today, Iranian and US diplomats said yesterday.

But the anonymous sources cautioned that fine details still needed to be ironed out and that all seven parties to the talks in Vienna must ratify it.

“We are working hard, but a deal tonight is simply logistically impossible,” the Iranian official said, noting that the agreement would fill around 100 pages.

US Secretary of State John Kerry said yesterday that “a few tough things” remained in the way but added: “We’re getting to some real decisions.”

Talks between Iran and the P5+1 group of Britain, China, France, Russia, the US and Germany have passed three target dates for completion.

Western powers are seeking assurances that Iran is not using its nuclear energy programme to develop nuclear weapons, while Iran wants its right to nuclear energy recognised and Western sanctions lifted.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said last Tuesday that only eight “technical” obstacles remained to discuss.

But in a speech to university students in Tehran on Saturday, Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called the US an “excellent example of arrogance” and cautioned the students to be “prepared to continue the struggle against arrogant powers.”

In a last-ditch attempt to scupper the deal, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Mr Khamenei’s comments showed that Western powers were “caving in” to Iran as the Islamic republic keeps railing against them.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif had accused the US on Friday of not respecting Iran’s right to peaceful nuclear energy under the Non-Proliferation Treaty.