Russia: Iran talks 'virtually stalled'

Russia's TASS news agency says that talks between Iran and the major powers over its nuclear program have "virtually stalled" as technical details about lifting the sanctions on Iran and inspection protocols are proving to be the sticking point.

Reuters:

Nuclear talks between Iran and six world powers have virtually stalled and a deadline for a final deal may have to be postponed again, Russian news agency TASS quoted a diplomatic source as saying on Friday.

Iran and the powers -- the United States, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany -- are trying to reach a settlement by June 30 under which Iran would curb its nuclear programme in exchange for relief from economic sanctions.

The United States has said it stands by the end-June deadline for the deal, meant to assuage Western fears that Iran is working to develop a nuclear bomb.

But other officials have indicated the date might be missed as negotiations about technical details drag on.

Iran denies any ambition to develop nuclear weapons and says its programme is for generating electricity and other peaceful purposes.

The latest round of discussions in Vienna on Friday had made no significant progress, the source from one of the missions said, according to TASS.

"The process has virtually stalled, there is risk that deadline will have to be postponed again," TASS said the source added.

Iran has continuously claimed that the framework deal agreed to in April would have sanctions lifted immediately after the Security Council signs off on the deal.  The U.S. insists that the deal that was negotiated would have sanctions lifted over several years as a means to insure Iran's compliance.  Also, the U.S. says that all nuclear sites would be open for inspection, while Iran claims hat the agreement gives it the right to refuse inspections at military installations.

The divide would appear to be unbridgable – except that the U.S. is likely to cave in on both points just to get a deal done.  And the June 30 deadline is very likely to be extended if the two sides can't come to an agreement before then.  This despite continued statements from President Obama to the contrary.

The pressure for Western concessions to Iran will only grow the closer we get to June 30.  A very bad deal will eventually get worse, as getting a deal done at any cost becomes of paramount importance to President Obama.

Russia's TASS news agency says that talks between Iran and the major powers over its nuclear program have "virtually stalled" as technical details about lifting the sanctions on Iran and inspection protocols are proving to be the sticking point.

Reuters:

Nuclear talks between Iran and six world powers have virtually stalled and a deadline for a final deal may have to be postponed again, Russian news agency TASS quoted a diplomatic source as saying on Friday.

Iran and the powers -- the United States, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany -- are trying to reach a settlement by June 30 under which Iran would curb its nuclear programme in exchange for relief from economic sanctions.

The United States has said it stands by the end-June deadline for the deal, meant to assuage Western fears that Iran is working to develop a nuclear bomb.

But other officials have indicated the date might be missed as negotiations about technical details drag on.

Iran denies any ambition to develop nuclear weapons and says its programme is for generating electricity and other peaceful purposes.

The latest round of discussions in Vienna on Friday had made no significant progress, the source from one of the missions said, according to TASS.

"The process has virtually stalled, there is risk that deadline will have to be postponed again," TASS said the source added.

Iran has continuously claimed that the framework deal agreed to in April would have sanctions lifted immediately after the Security Council signs off on the deal.  The U.S. insists that the deal that was negotiated would have sanctions lifted over several years as a means to insure Iran's compliance.  Also, the U.S. says that all nuclear sites would be open for inspection, while Iran claims hat the agreement gives it the right to refuse inspections at military installations.

The divide would appear to be unbridgable – except that the U.S. is likely to cave in on both points just to get a deal done.  And the June 30 deadline is very likely to be extended if the two sides can't come to an agreement before then.  This despite continued statements from President Obama to the contrary.

The pressure for Western concessions to Iran will only grow the closer we get to June 30.  A very bad deal will eventually get worse, as getting a deal done at any cost becomes of paramount importance to President Obama.