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Iran nuke talks make headway

Posted November. 09, 2013 04:37,   


Talks over Iran’s nuclear program are picking up speed. The “P5+1” involving five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany have been holding nuclear talks with Iran. If nuclear talks with Iran are concluded, it will likely affect the North Korean nuclear issue as well.

Foreign media organizations including CNN reported on Friday that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will visit the U.N. Europe headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland to fine tune the last minute conditions for the nuclear talks over Iran. The Wall Street Journal reported that Kerry’s attendance at the meeting seems to aim at concluding talks, saying that the talks’ conclusion could come as early as Friday.

White House spokesman Jay Carney expressed expectation on Thursday, saying that it will likely be possible to bring an end to Iran’s nuclear weapons development program for the first time in 10 years. Iranian Vice Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi, a ranking official of the Iranian delegation, told an interview with the Iranian national TV on Thursday that other parties to the talks accepted Iran’s requests without hesitance. He said, “The parties will likely prepare a memorandum of understanding on Friday, when the talks will end.”

Thus far, the P5+1 had been holding negotiations, vowing that if Iran accepts specific and verifiable measures meant to give up its nuclear development, including halting the operation of uranium enrichment facilities in Fordo, they will ease sanctions against the Middle East country. The P5+1 have reportedly suggested that they will firstly ease for six months certain sanctions, including freezing of Iran’s overseas assets, wait and see to check the Islamic country’s halting of nuclear development, before resuming talks.

In an interview with NBC News on Thursday, U.S. President Barack Obama said that sanctions against Iran could be lifted “very modestly,” while maintaining the backbone of sanctions against it. Accordingly, Washington is expected to ease supplementary sanctions such as freezing of Iran`s overseas financial assets and trade of gold and petrochemical products, while keeping core sanctions such as “ban of oil export.”

However, there seems to be a strong chance that nuclear negotiations with Iran could face not only opposition by Israel but also internal objections among the public within the U.S. and Iran. “The talks will only help Iran boost its capacity to develop nuclear weapons,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said of the talks, adding, “It will be the biggest mistake ever made by Western countries.” President Obama also warned that if Iran fails to present the conviction that it will give up nuclear weapons, eased sanctions could be reinstated.