News / Middle East

French Minister: Iranian Nuclear Talks End with No Deal

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zari, center, departs meeting with EU foreign ministers, Iran Nuclear talks, Geneva, Nov. 9, 2013.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zari, center, departs meeting with EU foreign ministers, Iran Nuclear talks, Geneva, Nov. 9, 2013.
VOA News
Nuclear talks between Iran and major world powers ended Saturday in Geneva with no deal, but Iran says it is not disappointed.
 
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told reporters that the three days of talks were good and gave all side something to build on. He says he hopes there can be a deal when the talks resume November 20.
 
European Union foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton said there was concrete progress but that differences remain. She gave no details.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius told reporters that Paris is not satisfied with Iran's position and will not be part of what he called a "fool's deal."

Fabius told French radio that Iran must suspend work on its plutonium-producing reactor in the western city of Arak. He also called for a reduction in the purity of Iran's stockpile of highly enriched uranium.

The talks in Geneva between Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany are aimed at persuading Iran to suspend work that could give it the capacity to develop nuclear weapons. In exchange, the U.N would ease some of its crippling sanctions against Iran.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told a press conference that there is no question that all sides are closer to a deal now than when the talks began. He said diplomacy must be exhausted but warned that such a window will not stay open indefinitely.

The United States and its allies accuse Iran of seeking to build a nuclear bomb. Iran insists its nuclear program is strictly for peaceful civilian use.

'Exceptional opportunity'

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani had urged the six major powers not to miss what he called an "exceptional opportunity" to reach a deal in Geneva to resolve the decade-long Iranian nuclear dispute.

Iran's state-run news agency IRNA said Rouhani made the comment in a meeting in Tehran Saturday with visiting Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida.

​Iranian media quoted Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif as saying there were divisions among the six major powers. Zarif, leader of the Iranian delegation in Geneva, had said if the current rounds does not produce an agreement, a new round of negotiations would be held in seven to 10 days.

Reporters in Geneva say U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and the European Union's foreign-policy chief, Catherine Ashton, are expected to issue statements late Saturday.

Iran has long resisted U.N. Security Council demands to suspend enrichment. However, the new Iranian government that took office in July has suggested compromise is possible on the pace of its nuclear work.

In return, Iran wants an easing of international sanctions that have hobbled its economy.

Diplomats react

Earlier Saturday, British Foreign Secretary William Hague said the negotiations have made "very good progress," but that there are still important issues to resolve before a deal is reached.

ritish Foreign Secretary William Hague, left, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, second left, Germany's Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, and EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs, Catherine Ashton, right, gather for the third day of closed-door nuclear talks at the Intercontinental Hotel in Geneva Switzerland, Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013.ritish Foreign Secretary William Hague, left, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, second left, Germany's Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, and EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs, Catherine Ashton, right, gather for the third day of closed-door nuclear talks at the Intercontinental Hotel in Geneva Switzerland, Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013.
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ritish Foreign Secretary William Hague, left, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, second left, Germany's Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, and EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs, Catherine Ashton, right, gather for the third day of closed-door nuclear talks at the Intercontinental Hotel in Geneva Switzerland, Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013.
ritish Foreign Secretary William Hague, left, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, second left, Germany's Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, and EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs, Catherine Ashton, right, gather for the third day of closed-door nuclear talks at the Intercontinental Hotel in Geneva Switzerland, Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013.
"If there is not (a deal), of course then we must continue to apply ourselves in the coming weeks, building on the progress that has been made already," said Hague. "But we are making every effort to do so. While a number of issues have been satisfactorily addressed, the atmosphere of these negotiations, as others have told you before, is completely different from the atmosphere of a few months ago.''

Kerry said Friday there were "some important gaps" remaining between Iran and the Western powers, but that the parties were "working hard."

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov joined the negotiations on Saturday, and China has sent its deputy foreign minister, Baodong Li, to Geneva.

​On Friday, U.S. President Barack Obama telephoned Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is deeply skeptical about the negotiations. The White House said Obama stressed he is fully committed to preventing Iran from getting nuclear weapons.

Earlier Friday, Netanyahu reacted sharply to indications that Western powers were moving closer to an agreement with Iran. He told reporterrs Iran "got everything and paid nothing" in the negotiations because it is not reducing its enrichment capability.

"Iran got the deal of the century and the international community got a bad deal," Netanyahu said. "This is a very bad deal, and Israel utterly rejects it."

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by: henk houweling from: netherlands
November 10, 2013 7:50 AM
May be mr. Fabius studies France's nuclear history, and French present nuclear policy. It could help to better understand the contribution of the established nuclear powers, including France, to get Iran off the nuclear weapons trail:

De Gaulle said it well, quoting from his letter to the Notre Dame conference about the NPT -Treaty:

"France is against proliferation.
But she considers that the draft treaty, as it currently stands, settles nothing. It does not represent any progress towards disarmament. It sanctions
the supremacy of some countries over the rest of the non-nuclear nations.’
The letter goes on to quote Couve de Murville, the French Foreign Minister:

Non-dissemination [the initial and more specific word for preventing the spread of nuclear weapons] is, assuredly, a problem. There is no advantage, there would even be great danger,in having more and more countries manufacture nuclear weapons. But one thing is
much more important—those who possess nuclear weapons should not manufacture more but destroy the ones they have. Yet what is being proposed seems to us to arrive at the opposite result: preventing those who do not have and who, for the most part, cannot have nuclear weapons, from manufacturing them. But this in no way prevents those [possessing] such weapons from continuing to manufacture them and from maintaining their stockpiles. Consequently, this is not disarmament, and we think that we should not, by taking paths of this kind, lead the world [to] believe there is disarmament where, in fact, there is only a strengthening of the monopolies of the great powers."
Mr Fabius is right in one sense: bombing without fear of nuclear retaliation is to be preferred over bombing a country that has them. I guess that Saddam would have agreed

by: Don_in_Odessa from: US
November 10, 2013 5:59 AM
No! To offer any kind of deal is the same as offering aid.

Just the other day an arm of the Iranian military, the Iranian Guard, decided to continue using the slogan "Death to America". Not one peep from the Islamic community, either laity or, leadership against the hateful language. The intent of the leadership of the Islamic world is clear. What they say, what they promise can not be trusted. The lie in the realm of Islam is as much an honorable tool as the bomb strapped to a child. These men sell their underage daughters to the highest bidder in "marriage". These are not a people to make deals with.

Further, no matter even if they were the most honorable people in the world, it is the duty of a man to provide for his family first. America is a broken country. In every respect we are in a state of decline. We are a nation of the poor and starving. We are a nation whose environment is reclaiming the land for itself. We need to bring our people home from the corners of the world. And, we need to take care of our selves for now. This so we are still around a hundred or even a thousand years from now to take care of our neighbors. Let the dead of the world bury the dead, let America be reborn. We built this country from scratch we are much further along than that first time. We are better than we think we are and we can do it again.

As regards Israel; We have given Israel all that it needs to destroy the whole of the middle east. They have proven themselves much more capable and willing to take decisive action when needed. Much more so than the hand ringing sissies of our own Government.

I would never go against Israel in a military way, but, we have done enough. We are sick and in need of healing. We need to take care of our own selves for awhile.


Let the rest of the world take care of itself for the time being. But if the world brings it's hate and evil to our shores, be ready to strike back quickly and with finality

by: Stehling from: NYC
November 10, 2013 2:35 AM

Israel's political imperative is to remain the only nuclear weapons state in the Middle East and in order to reinforce this hegemonic aim will use every available political channel including that of its powerful, US lobby in Washington, AIPAC.

But this lobby has Friends of a Israel branches in all European capitals including Paris, London, Berlin and Brussels which can exert political pressure upon EU governments to support the Likud administration of Binyamin Netanyahu. That is the obstacle to peace that must be overcome. Given AIPAC's influence over the US congress, that will prove extremely difficult.

by: Dr. V. Samyanov from: Moscow State U.
November 10, 2013 12:24 AM
I never thought I would say it, but... the world owes a huge debt of gratitude to France...!!! I am ashamed of my country vacillating approach... but i do take comfort from the fact that the USA acted like disgusting cowards.

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