Iran Envoys Trade Blame for Nuclear-Deal Delays

Global Security Newswire Staff
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Global Security Newswire Staff
June 23, 2014, 9:58 a.m.

Tehran and Wash­ing­ton each said the oth­er cap­it­al had to give up more if the sides are to de­fuse a glob­al nuc­le­ar stan­doff, Re­u­ters re­ports.

Seni­or of­fi­cials from both gov­ern­ments ad­mon­ished mem­bers of the op­pos­ing camp on Fri­day, after sev­er­al days of mul­ti­lat­er­al talks over fears that Ir­an may tap its os­tens­ibly non­mil­it­ary nuc­le­ar pro­gram to build bombs. The Middle East­ern na­tion has tent­at­ively offered to curb some of its atom­ic ef­forts in ex­change for po­ten­tial sanc­tions re­lief by the five per­man­ent U.N. Se­cur­ity Coun­cil mem­ber na­tions and Ger­many.

Ir­a­ni­an For­eign Min­is­ter Mo­hammad Javad Za­rif urged ne­go­ti­at­ors from the “P-5+1” coun­tries to “aban­don ex­cess­ive de­mands which will not be ac­cep­ted by Ir­an.”

“There has been pro­gress, but ma­jor dis­putes re­main” over lan­guage in a draft nuc­le­ar deal. “There are more brack­ets than words in it,” Agence France-Presse quoted him as say­ing.

Sep­ar­ately, U.S. Un­der­sec­ret­ary of State Wendy Sher­man said it was un­clear wheth­er “Ir­an is really ready and will­ing to take all the ne­ces­sary steps to as­sure the world that its nuc­le­ar pro­gram is and will re­main ex­clus­ively peace­ful.”

A high-level U.S. in­sider ad­ded, “There are very, very dif­fi­cult de­cisions to be taken here by Ir­an,” Re­u­ters re­por­ted.

Za­rif, though, said, “The United States must take the most dif­fi­cult de­cisions,” al-Mon­it­or re­por­ted on Fri­day.

“[Pres­id­ent Obama] and Con­gress … have to save them­selves from the con­di­tions they have cre­ated,” Za­rif said. He ad­ded that Wash­ing­ton has met its com­mit­ment un­der a short-term agree­ment to lift re­stric­tions on $4.2 bil­lion in Ir­a­ni­an funds, RIA Nov­osti re­por­ted.

Mean­while, a U.N. agency on Fri­day said Ir­an has moved to elim­in­ate most of the urani­um it could most eas­ily con­vert in­to bomb ma­ter­i­al, Re­u­ters re­por­ted.

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