The finalization of a nuclear program with Iran remains impalpable. Mr. Zarif, Iran’s negotiator, met with U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry to discuss nuclear negotiations with Iran. Kerry made it clear that further negotiations will not be possible unless these nuclear talks reach an agreement in the next few weeks. Kerry did not completely rule out nuclear negotiations with Iran, however he made it evident that the decision would need to be made soon.
Kerry alluded to a third extension to these nuclear talks that will ultimately reduce Iran’s ability to make bombs if instated. These nuclear talks began a decade ago with Hassan Rouhani’s presidency.
Countries around the Persian Gulf, including Israel, are worried that Iran is fully capable of making nuclear weapons and potentially on the brink of production. If Iran did start producing nuclear weapons, the surrounding countries would become involved in a nuclear arms race in the region.
Congress’ lawmakers are debating enforcing new sanctions on Tehran to use as leverage for Iranian concessions, including the uranium sitting below Iran that is used for peaceful medical and environmental progress. Obama and his advisors however, are urging patience stating that imposing new sanctions may cause the Iranians to abandon the negotiations all together.
There are also Iranians very against any negotiations with the United Sates that are trying hard to subvert the talks. This unrest adds more pressure to completing a final deal. Zarif said, “We need to seize this opportunity, It may not be repeated,” at the Munich conference.
Both Kerry and President Obama agree that they will not confirm a deal that will give Iran an easier ability to produce weapons. Iran and “the six powers”, the United States, France, Russia, the U.K., Germany, and China, have self-imposed a March deadline for Iran’s talks to be approved or ruled out. The deal would get rid of sanctions being held over Iran in return for the assurance that there would not be enough fuel to produce nuclear weapons until at least a year.
Despite Iran’s willingness to proceed in negotiations, Tehran is not agreeing on things that would make the negations final. In an NBC interview, Kerry stated that the only way to make a final deal possible would be to solidify the outlines of one. He also said, “But if we’re not able to make the fundamental decisions that have to be made over the course of the next weeks, literally, I think it would be impossible to extend.”
Zarif also made evident that Iran would be willing to engage in discussion with turkey and Saudi Arabia about issues in Syria. Iran has already sent military aid to Syria in the effort to fight of ISIS. Arab states think negatively of this action and insist that Iran should remain uninvolved with Syria and its crisis.
The tensions regarding these talks have risen between both sides. At this moment in time, decisions are being held in suspension for the next few months. Iran’s nuclear talks are beginning to be thought of as ruled out, however lawmakers and other officials believe a solution is still possible.
Written by Audrey Madden
Photo by – Dean Calma – License