The PJ Tatler

Iran Says 'Only a Few Items Left' to Tackle as Latest Nuclear Deadline Nears

An Iranian minister says “there are only a few items left which need to be tackled” in P5+1 nuclear negotiations as opposed to “a number of unresolved issues” three months ago, as reported by AFP.

The U.S. has said sanctions against Iran will “snap back” if they violate the agreement, but Iran apparently wants that provision to be reciprocal.

“If there are issues that we have, for instance, in regard to sanctions termination, the same procedure has to be applied to that issues as well,” the Iranian official said. “To put it broadly, snapback is something that needs to be provided to all sides, not only one side.”

Iran, the official said, had already “made a number of concessions, we have shown a good amount of flexibility. I suppose everybody has done so.”

The deadline is tomorrow. Secretary of State John Kerry told reporters in Vienna on Sunday that “over the past few days, we have in fact made genuine progress.”

“But I want to be absolutely clear with everybody: We are not yet where we need to be on several of the most difficult issues. And the truth is that while I completely agree with Foreign Minister Zarif that we have never been closer, at this point, this negotiation could go either way,” Kerry said. “If hard choices get made in the next couple of days and made quickly, we could get an agreement this week. But if they are not made, we will not.”

“Right now we’re aiming to try to finish this in the timeframe that we’ve set out. That’s our goal and we’re going to put every bit of pressure possible on it to try to do so.”

Kerry added that “if we don’t get a deal, if we don’t have a deal, if there’s absolute intransigence, if there’s an unwillingness to move on the things that are important, President Obama has always said we’ll be prepared to walk away. It’s not what anybody wants. We want to get an agreement.”

“But I’ve said from the moment I became involved in this we want a good agreement, only a good agreement, and we’re not going to shave anywhere at the margins in order just to get an agreement. This is something that the world will analyze, experts everywhere will look at,” he said. “There are plenty of people in the nonproliferation community, nuclear experts, who will look at this. And none of us are going to be content to do something that can’t pass scrutiny. Most importantly, President Obama has made it clear we have to close off the four pathways to the potential of a bomb. Our Iranian counterparts have been working hard. They’ve put in a lot of time. Everybody is negotiating hard. That’s what makes this difficult.”

“But our hope is that we get an agreement that is fair, that gets the job done, and we can hold our heads high and show the world that countries can come together and make things happen. But we’re not there yet. I emphasize that. We have difficult issues still to resolve.”

Ayatollah Khamenei tweeted yesterday, “Reason of imposing sanctions is neither nuclear issue nor human rights. It’s because a nation has risen with principles opposing hegemony.”

The supreme leader has demanded that all sanctions be lifted immediately if a deal is signed.