Iran is ultimately to blame for stalled nuclear talks, not France as had earlier been reported, according to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. Countries meeting in Geneva to broker a nuclear settlement with Iran include China, Russia, France, Germany, and Britain, also called the P5+1 group.
Initial reports blamed the French for rejecting a partial agreement, a claim that Kerry denies, saying that it was Iran who reneged. He also added that the involved nations were all in agreement with the deal to partially lift economic sanctions against Iran in exchange for an agreement by Iran to limit uranium enrichment.
Speaking from Abu Dhabi, Kerry confirmed that Iran was responsible for the stalled nuclear deal, saying that when the proposal was presented to the Iranians, “the French signed off on it, we signed off on it, and everybody agreed it was a fair proposal. There was unity, but Iran couldn’t take it at that particular moment, they weren’t able to accept that particular thing.”
According to Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammed Javad Zarif , the untrue reports have led to an erosion in Iran’s confidence in the talks, saying that he believes that “considerable progress” occurred even though, according to Zarif, the greatest amount of time was spent waiting for the U.S., Britain, France, Germany, Russia, and China “to resolve differences among themselves.” He also expressed concern in his faith in any future talks, stating that “contradictory remarks – some which are different from what happened out there – and putting a spin on the reality… does not help generate trust in the negotiation process.”
While blamed for stalling nuclear talks, Iran did pledge to the head of U.N.’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA,) Yukiya Amano, that it would offer United Nations nuclear inspectors more information and expanded access to sites related to Iran’s nuclear program. This pact with Amana notably does not include the Parchin site outside of Tehran, which is one of the sites the U.N. would most like to investigate.
In the past, Tehran has declared that Iran has a right to enrich uranium, a claim that Kerry countered by saying that no country holds an “existing right to enrich.” Although the election of a purported moderate to President this year seemed to increase the chances of making inroads in the talks, new Iranian President Hassan Rouhan is on the record as saying that Tehran will not give up their nuclear rights, insisting that their nuclear program exists for agricultural and medical purposes and is entirely peaceful.
While in Abu Dhabi on a visit designed to reassure U.S. allies in the Gulf region who are wary of any deal struck with Iran, Kerry countered that claim, declaring that no country has an “existing right to enrich.” With Kerry and Zarif both issuing contrasting statements about who is to blame for the stalled nuclear talks, negotiations with Iran are scheduled to resume on November 20.
By Jennifer Pfalz