News / Middle East

Iran Nuclear Talks Will Resume in May With ‘Significant Gaps'

Iran Nuclear Talks Will Resume in May With ‘Significant Gaps'i
April 10, 2014 1:10 AM
Negotiators from Iran and the so-called P5+1 - the United States, Russia, China, Britain, and France, plus Germany - wrapped up a round of talks Wednesday in Vienna on Tehran’s nuclear program. The West believes Iran is trying to build a nuclear weapon, a charge Tehran denies, and and as Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA, negotiators remain a long way from reaching agreement.
Iran Nuclear Talks Will Resume in May With ‘Significant Gaps'
Henry Ridgwell
Negotiators from Iran and the so-called P5+1 - the United States, Russia, China, Britain, and France, plus Germany - wrapped up a round of talks Wednesday in Vienna on Tehran’s nuclear program. The West believes Iran is trying to build a nuclear weapon, a charge Tehran denies, and negotiators remain a long way from reaching agreement.

This is third time negotiators from Iran and the P5+1 have met this year in Vienna.

EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton, who is coordinating the talks, admitted to ‘significant gaps’ between the parties. “A lot of intensive work will be required to overcome the differences which naturally at this stage still exist in the process.”

All sides hope to sign a comprehensive agreement by a self-imposed July 20 deadline.

Iranian nuclear enrichment

Iran leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has insisted in the past Iran will never give up nuclear enrichment or shut any nuclear facility. The United States and the European Union, however, are demanding limits on Iran’s efforts to develop more efficient enrichment technology. They want to extend the "breakout period," the time it would take Iran to make a nuclear bomb, currently estimated to be two months.

Speaking Tuesday to Congress, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry warned Tehran the United States will respond if Iran takes that path.

“If they are overtly breaking out and breaking an agreement and starting to enrich and pursue it, they have made a huge consequential decision. And the greater likelihood is we are going to respond immediately," said Kerry.

In return for scaling back its nuclear program, Iran wants the West to lift sanctions that have crippled its economy.

Optimism over the talks has sparked interest from many Western companies, said CEO Nigel Kushner, of W Legal in London, which advises firms on trading with countries subject to sanctions.

“A lot of different exporters and a lot of different industries, who all wish to jump back in to the Iranian market,” said Kushner.

Aviation industry

Aviation is set to be one of the first industry entrants into that market.

Years of sanctions on the sale of aircraft and spare parts to Iran have left its passenger fleet decrepit; aviation analysts say there have been dozens of incidents related to worn out aircraft.

The head of Iranair was at the talks in Vienna to negotiate an easing of sanctions on the sale of aircraft parts. Kusher said it will be a gradual process.

“First of all it applies mainly to Iranair. It does not include a number of other Iranian airlines, for example Mohan Air. And it is limited to spare parts, they can not go out and purchase new planes,” said Kusher.

Negotiators hope to build upon the tentative agreements when they meet again May 13 in Vienna.

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Comment Sorting
by: Change Iran Now from: USA
April 11, 2014 6:16 PM
The Iranian regime immediately reminded us that the Administration is pursuing a fool’s errand, with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei promising that Iran is unwilling to disassemble any nuclear facilities. The Obama administration must avoid making the same mistake it made in November, when it peddled away our leverage in the form of much-needed sanctions relief to Iran’s collapsing economy in exchange for only minor cosmetic concessions on Iran’s nuclear infrastructure. The White House should only accept an agreement that verifiably dismantles Iran’s illicit nuclear weapons program. Anything short virtually ensures that the best we can do is contain, not prevent, Iran’s nuclear capabilities.”

by: Not Again from: Canada
April 11, 2014 12:13 PM
I guess the Israeli PM was right on wrt the break out time for the Iranian Dictatorship to a nuclear weapon. The fact that the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has indicated no turn back, in essence demonstrates the total futility of the negotiations. Placing futility aside, this current situation is extremely destabilizing; a regional nuclear arms race is in its embyonic stage. Two months to breakout is almost negligible, and if the there is no roll back, one can predict very serious consequences = war downstream. Clearly a major policy failure for all, not just the West, but also for the normal Iranian people, who are now exposed to a real danger = of a big war not far off.

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