Despite his best efforts, Secretary of State John Kerry has so far failed to reach an agreement with Iran over its nuclear program.
Representatives from Iran and the so-called P5+1 – the US, UK, France, Russia and China plus Germany have been in Geneva trying to hammer out a deal to limit Iran’s nuclear program and ease up on Western sanctions. On Monday Kerry revealed that negotiators had been “very, very close … extremely close” to reaching a deal with Iran. But sometimes close just isn’t enough – as Kerry learned in 2004 – and the deal fell through over the weekend.
So what happened? Well, Iran is blaming it on the West – namely France. Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, blamed France for “gutting over half” of the U.S. draft.
The U.S, however, is blaming it on Iran. Kerry said Iran backed out of the nuclear deal on the last day of talks. He also maintains that the West was unified when they presented their proposal to the Iranians.
“The French signed off on it, we signed off on it, and everybody agreed it was a fair proposal,” Kerry said. “Iran couldn’t take it at that particular moment.”
While some say the nuclear talks failed because France really wanted tight restrictions placed on the heavy-water reactor being built in Arak and others say they failed because Iran is insisting on formal recognition of its “right” to enrich uranium, both sides are committed to reaching an agreement. Eventually.
Diplomats are expected to meet again Nov. 20 to pick up where they left off and both sides are relatively optimistic.
“We are committed to constructive engagement. Interaction on equal footing key to achieve shared objectives,” Zarif said.
As for John Kerry, he’s just happy Iran is talking.
“We haven’t been speaking in 35 years,” Kerry said. “We just talked more in 30 hours than we have in 30 years prior.”
Via: CBS News