Geneva ( AFP) – very difficult discussions on the Iranian nuclear were concluded in Geneva on Thursday without progress on the most sensitive negotiating points, but diplomats from both sides showed their determination to continue to try to reconcile the positions .
Discussions should resume Friday for their third day.
After a day of intense talks , Abbas Araghchi , Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister , said it was still “no progress ” on points of disagreement that has not specified .
” If there is progress and if negotiations nearing an agreement, it is possible for the Ministers of Foreign Affairs ( Group 5 +1) ” to help reach an agreement, he added.
However, according to a European diplomat , ” we have made progress , including the background. There has fewer issues to be resolved , even if those who remain are obviously the hardest ,” said he said , without going into details that his Iranian colleague.
For its part, the spokesman of European diplomacy Michael Mann praised the ” very good atmosphere ” between the negotiators , the head of Iran Mohammad Javad Zarif diplomacy , and foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton , mandated to negotiate on behalf of major powers (USA , UK, France , Russia, China and Germany).
” She worked as hard as she could to reconcile the positions ,” said he said , referring to “a day of intense negotiations, substantial and detailed .”
” Some trust ”
The morning discussions were also considered ” serious and useful ,” the Iranian side . ” We found some confidence that Ashton speaks for six ,” said Mr. Araghchi .
Logistical preparations were underway in Geneva for a possible extension of talks Saturday , reviving speculation about a possible arrival of foreign ministers , only authorized to conclude an agreement.
Trading relates to an agreed text on Nov. 9 , in the previous round of negotiations in Geneva , which ended without agreement.
The draft “Interim Agreement” of six months, extendable by a Western source , includes a limitation on Tehran’s nuclear program in exchange for a limited easing of sanctions . Details are not known, but ” everyone knows what are the main issues ,” said spokesman Ashton , Michael Mann, citing in particular the issue of uranium enrichment , ” right ” claimed by the Iranians but denounced by Westerners who suspect Tehran of wanting to develop nuclear weapons.
” The principle of enrichment is not negotiable but we can discuss the volume , level and location ,” said Mr. Araghchi which leaves the door open to compromise.
One of the main points under discussion concerns the fate of Iranian stock of uranium enriched to 20% ( threshold for quickly reach a level of enrichment to 90% , opening the door to nuclear weapons ) .
” We seek to agree on an acceptable formulation by both parties ,” said a member of the Iranian delegation told reporters .
About the sanctions, the Iranian negotiator admitted that ” all oil and banking sanctions could not be lifted at once, we are talking about an agreement six months.”
The relief would focus on unfreezing of Iranian financial assets held in foreign banks but would rather “limited” , repeat the Americans.
While negotiators discussed step by step in camera , the public statements continued.
The U.S. Senate in December develop a new component of economic sanctions against Iran , said the leader of the Democrats Harry Reid Thursday.
“We support these negotiations and hope that they will succeed ,” said Harry Reid. But ” the Senate must be ready to consider a new bipartisan draft sanctions against Iran after the Thanksgiving holiday ,” either from the second week of December, he announced .
The head of French diplomacy , Laurent Fabius, a ” hoped ” the conclusion of a ” strong agreement ” in Geneva , but reiterated that the agreement would be possible only ” on the basis of strength .”
Wednesday, before the resumption of talks in Geneva , the Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei for his repeated that his country would not back down on its ” nuclear rights ” part.
Came to Moscow to campaign against an agreement with Tehran, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed that Iran “would not have nuclear weapons .” He denounced the remarks made yesterday by Iran’s supreme leader , Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, that Israel is ” doomed to extinction .”
” Such Iran must not have nuclear weapons ,” Netanyahu said .
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