E.U. Iran-Talks Lead: Any Breakthrough Could Push Talks Past Six Months

Global Security Newswire Staff
Add to Briefcase
See more stories about...
Global Security Newswire Staff
Feb. 3, 2014, 8:42 a.m.

A key European Uni­on dip­lo­mat­ic co­ordin­at­or sug­ges­ted that en­voys might need more than half a year to reach a fi­nal nuc­le­ar deal with Ir­an.

The fig­ure, E.U. for­eign policy chief Cath­er­ine Ashton, dis­cussed the pos­sib­il­ity of a drawn-out dip­lo­mat­ic pro­cess in an in­ter­view on Sunday, the Wall Street Journ­al re­ports.

Her re­marks came as some Ir­a­ni­an and West­ern gov­ern­ment in­siders ex­pressed hope that ne­go­ti­at­ors would re­solve years-old con­cerns over Ir­an’s atom­ic activ­it­ies with­in the six-month dur­a­tion of an in­ter­im ac­cord that took ef­fect on Jan. 20. Ex­perts have said com­plic­a­tions could arise from ex­tend­ing the ini­tial pact, in which Tehran agreed to re­strict some of its nuc­le­ar activ­it­ies in re­turn for sanc­tions re­lief pledged by the five per­man­ent U.N. Se­cur­ity Coun­cil mem­ber na­tions and Ger­many.

“Every­one will say to you, and rightly so, this is ex­tremely dif­fi­cult,” said Ashton, who has com­mu­nic­ated with Tehran on be­half of the “P-5+1” na­tions. “We have no guar­an­tees in this and we will take the time that is ne­ces­sary to get this to be the right agree­ment.”

Mul­ti­lat­er­al dis­cus­sions on a com­pre­hens­ive ar­range­ment are sched­uled to start on Feb. 18 in Vi­enna, Re­u­ters quoted her as say­ing on Fri­day. Wash­ing­ton and its al­lies want a fi­nal plan to clear up in­ter­na­tion­al sus­pi­cions that Ir­an is pur­su­ing a nuc­le­ar-weapons cap­ab­il­ity un­der the guise of a peace­ful atom­ic pro­gram.

A num­ber of West­ern gov­ern­ment sources an­onym­ously voiced skep­ti­cism that the sides could fi­nal­ize such a deal by the middle of 2014, the Journ­al re­por­ted. Ac­cord­ing to some en­voys, pre­par­ing a pre­lim­in­ary text as a found­a­tion for the talks could be a months-long pro­cess in it­self.

Ir­an’s top dip­lo­mat is­sued dif­fer­ing as­sess­ments of the pos­sible dur­a­tion of the dis­cus­sions.

Speak­ing on Monday to the Ger­man Coun­cil on For­eign Re­la­tions, Ir­a­ni­an For­eign Min­is­ter Mo­hammad Javad Za­rif said that “with good will we can reach an agree­ment with­in six [months],” Re­u­ters re­por­ted.

On Sunday, though, Za­rif said “it would be fool­ish for us to only bar­gain for six months,” ac­cord­ing to the news agency.

The Ir­a­ni­an for­eign min­is­ter said he held one-on-one meet­ings with U.S. Sec­ret­ary of State John Kerry and oth­er top of­fi­cials from the six ne­go­ti­at­ing powers at the Mu­nich Se­cur­ity Con­fer­ence this past week­end.

What We're Following See More »
AT ISSUE: COMEY FIRING, SESSIONS’S RECUSAL
Mueller Seeks Documents from DOJ
2 days ago
THE LATEST

Special counsel Robert Mueller "is now demanding documents from the department overseeing his investigation." A source tells ABC News that "Mueller's investigators are keen to obtain emails related to the firing of FBI Director James Comey and the earlier decision of Attorney General Jeff Sessions to recuse himself from the entire matter."

Source:
MULVANEY SAYS PROVISION ISN’T A DEALBREAKER
Trump May Be OK with Dropping Mandate Repeal
2 days ago
THE LATEST

"President Donald Trump would not insist on including repeal of an Obama-era health insurance mandate in a bill intended to enact the biggest overhaul of the tax code since the 1980s, a senior White House aide said on Sunday. The version of tax legislation put forward by Senate Republican leaders would remove a requirement in former President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare law that taxes Americans who decline to buy health insurance."

Source:
FRANKEN JUST THE BEGINNING?
Media Devoting More Resources to Lawmakers’ Sexual Misconduct
2 days ago
THE LATEST

"Members of Congress with histories of mistreating women should be extremely nervous. Major outlets, including CNN, are dedicating substantial newsroom resources to investigating sexual harassment allegations against numerous lawmakers. A Republican source told me he's gotten calls from well-known D.C. reporters who are gathering stories about sleazy members."

Source:
STARTS LEGAL FUND FOR WH STAFF
Trump to Begin Covering His Own Legal Bills
4 days ago
THE DETAILS
DISCUSSED THE MATTER FOR A NEW BOOK
Steele Says Follow the Money
4 days ago
STAFF PICKS

"Christopher Steele, the former British intelligence officer who wrote the explosive dossier alleging ties between Donald Trump and Russia," says in a new book by The Guardian's Luke Harding that "Trump's land and hotel deals with Russians needed to be examined. ... Steele did not go into further detail, Harding said, but seemed to be referring to a 2008 home sale to the Russian oligarch Dmitry Rybolovlev. Richard Dearlove, who headed the UK foreign-intelligence unit MI6 between 1999 and 2004, said in April that Trump borrowed money from Russia for his business during the 2008 financial crisis."

Source:
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login