Iran, Key Nations Wrap Up ‘Substantive’ Nuclear Discussion

Global Security Newswire Staff
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Global Security Newswire Staff
April 9, 2014, 8:21 a.m.

Ir­an and six gov­ern­ments said they held “sub­stant­ive and de­tailed dis­cus­sions” on all ele­ments of a pos­sible nuc­le­ar deal, the Wall Street Journ­al re­ports.

Still, “in­tens­ive work will be re­quired to over­come [re­main­ing] dif­fer­ences,” Ir­a­ni­an For­eign Min­is­ter Mo­hammad Javad Za­rif and European Uni­on for­eign policy chief Cath­er­ine Ashton ad­ded in shared re­marks is­sued on Wed­nes­day, as they ended a two-day mul­ti­lat­er­al atom­ic meet­ing.

Ashton, who rep­res­ents the five per­man­ent U.N. Se­cur­ity Coun­cil mem­ber na­tions and Ger­many, said the sides would meet again on May 13.

On Tues­day, Ir­a­ni­an Deputy For­eign Min­is­ter Ab­bas Araq­chi said his coun­try’s ne­go­ti­at­ors had “nar­rowed” their dif­fer­ences with coun­ter­parts from China, France, Ger­many, Rus­sia, the United King­dom and the United States, Agence France-Presse re­ports. He did not elab­or­ate on spe­cif­ic de­vel­op­ments in the talks, aimed at strik­ing a deal to elim­in­ate in­ter­na­tion­al sanc­tions on Ir­an if the Per­sian Gulf power ac­cepts long-term lim­its on its atom­ic activ­it­ies.

Amid re­ports of pos­sible pro­gress in a dis­pute over Ir­an’s un­fin­ished heavy-wa­ter re­act­or, Araq­chi stressed that his coun­try would only con­sider cer­tain moves to as­suage fears that the site could gen­er­ate bomb-us­able plutoni­um, Re­u­ters re­por­ted. Tehran in­sists the Arak re­act­or and its oth­er atom­ic as­sets have strictly peace­ful aims, but that con­ten­tion faces skep­ti­cism in Wash­ing­ton and European cap­it­als.

“Arak will re­main [a] heavy-wa­ter re­act­or … but there are tech­nic­al ways to de­crease con­cerns over its activ­it­ies,” he said.

The Ir­a­ni­an dip­lo­mat ad­ded that his coun­try “will not stop or sus­pend its urani­um en­rich­ment work un­der any cir­cum­stances.”

Mean­while, U.S. Sec­ret­ary of State John Kerry said Ir­an is now situ­ated to pro­duce enough fuel for a nuc­le­ar weapon in two months, AFP re­por­ted.

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