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Daily News Analysis

No major progress in Iran nuclear talks so far

Crescent International

After three days of talks in Vienna, no significant progress seems to have been made between Islamic Iran and the P5+1 group of countries. As the deadline of November 24 approaches, all sides are making efforts but the major stumbling block is US refusal, under Zionist pressure, to lift the illegal sanctions it has imposed on Iran. Tehran wants them lifted immediately while the US wants gradual lifting.


2014-11-21, , 22:33 EST

As the November 24 deadline for agreeing on a deal approaches, no significant progress has been made in the final round of talks that started in Vienna on November 18. Iran’s Foreign Minister Dr Mohammad Javad Zarif is holding talks with his American counterpart John Kerry chaired by EU coordinator Catherine Ashton. Kerry was supposed to leave for Paris but postponed his trip to continue discussions with Dr Zarif that continued on Friday night (Austria time).

Earlier there was speculation that Dr Zarif would leave for Tehran for consultations since the P5+1 had shown some “flexibility” in their position but this was quickly corrected by Dr Zarif who said no new proposals had been put forward by the other side. He elaborated that all the new proposals on the table were from the Iranian side; the other side had come up with no new proposals. German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and the Chinese delegation are due in Vienna on Saturday November 22 while Russian Foreign minister Sergio Lavrov will join the talks on November 23, just a day before the deadline.

Earlier today, Dr Zarif said despite extensive negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 countries comprising Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia, and the US and Germany, no significant proposals have been offered to Iran. The basic stumbling block remains removal of the raft of sanctions imposed by the US, its European allies as well as the UN.

Crescent International has learnt that the US is proposing removing these sanctions slowly stretching over many years. Iran wants the sanctions that are in any case illegal, removed immediately. Tehran has not only shown great flexibility but also total transparency relating to its nuclear activities. Even while the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has found no illegal activity on Iran’s part, it continues to issue ambiguous reports causing confusion. Under US imposed sanctions, at least $100 billion of Iranian money from oil sales is stuck in foreign banks. This is clearly illegal and is aimed at bullying Iran into foregoing its rights under the nuclear non-proliferation treaty (NPT).

The powerful Zionist lobby in the US that serves Israeli rather than American interests wants to frustrate the deal. Most members of Congress and many in the media as well as the banking sector are under the control of the “lobby”. Will the US be able to do the right thing for America and arrive at a deal that is based on legality and principles or it will continue to succumb to pressure from the lobby?

The question is what is in it for Iran that has allowed intrusive inspections of its facilities without recognition of its fundamental rights or getting anything in return?

The next few days will tell. There is also talk that the deadline may be extended to March 2015 if no final agreement is signed by November 24. The argument is that it is better not to allow the talks to collapse altogether after some progress has been made so far than to walk away. The question is what is in it for Iran that has allowed intrusive inspections of its facilities without recognition of its fundamental rights or getting anything in return?


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