Negotiators for six major governments conferred on how to haggle with Iran over atomic assets of potential use to build nuclear bombs, Reuters reports.
The five permanent U.N. Security Council member nations and Germany discussed the matter at a high-level gathering on Wednesday in Brussels, Belgium, less than two weeks before they are expected to join Iran to begin formulating the core components of a possible long-term atomic settlement. The six powers are seeking to rein in efforts that could enable the Persian Gulf power to construct nuclear arms, though Tehran maintains its atomic activities are solely peaceful.
Participants offered no specifics on the latest meeting of envoys from China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States.
A spokeswoman for European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, though, said the session was “useful.” Ashton has communicated with Tehran on behalf of the “P-5+1” powers.
An envoy tied to the six nations cited a “need to elaborate our positions” for the negotiations, which are set to resume with Iran on May 13 in Vienna. Several significant differences remain between Tehran and the other negotiating governments, though the sides recently appeared to achieve traction in a dispute over an unfinished Iranian heavy-water reactor capable of generating bomb-usable plutonium.
Speaking anonymously, one diplomat suggested a disagreement over Iran’s uranium-enrichment capacity would remain unresolved until “July 19 in the evening,” when an interim atomic deal reached in November is set to expire.
Iran is currently using roughly 10,000 centrifuges to refine uranium, a process capable of generating peaceful material as well as nuclear-bomb fuel. The United States and its allies would likely seek to reduce Tehran’s quantity of the machines to no more than a few thousand, according to Reuters.
Meanwhile, Iranian media said Tehran has received all $4.2 billion in seized revenue it was promised under the six-month interim pact, the London Guardian reported on Thursday.
What We're Following See More »
"A shake-up is underway at the Democratic National Committee as several key longtime officials have lost their posts, exposing a still-raw rift in the party and igniting anger among those in its progressive wing who see retaliation for their opposition to DNC Chairman Tom Perez. The ousters come ahead of the DNC's first meeting, in Las Vegas, Nevada, since Perez took over as chairman with a pledge this year to unite a party that had become badly divided during the brutal Bernie Sanders-Hillary Clinton 2016 primary race."
In a statement, Rep. Pat Tiberi (R-OH 12) confirmed a New York Times report that he would resign to lead the Ohio Business Roundtable. "While I have not yet determined a final resignation date, I will be leaving Congress by January 31, 2018."
"The number of Americans collecting unemployment benefits fell last week to the lowest level" since March 1973. According to the Labor Department Thursday, "claims for jobless aid dropped by 22,000 to 222,000." Additionally, "the less volatile four-week average slid by 9,500 to 248,250, lowest since late August."