Jul 15, 2014, 10:59 AM
News Code: 2721339
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Gridlock in nuclear talks breakable: Iran Daily

Tehran, July 15, IRNA - 'Iran Daily' on Tuesday believes that a deadlock, which seems to exist in the ongoing nuclear talks, could easily be broken if both sides demonstrate a strong will and determination.

Undoubtedly, disagreements, differences of opinions, ups and downs do exist in such important talks, and it is "not on all occasions an agreement can be reached easily. Every side has its own demands and it could take time to settle disagreements," added the daily.

Yet it is possible for Iran and the six world powers—the US, UK, France, Russia and China plus Germany—known as the P5+1, to clinch to a last-minute deal before the July 20 deadline, highlighted the English-language paper in its Opinion column.

Negotiators have begun to write the draft of a comprehensive agreement which is considered a significant breakthrough. According to Iran’s chief negotiator Seyyed Abbas Araqchi, over 60 percent of the draft has been drawn up. This shows both sides can find ways to bridge the gap and finalize the deal.

Disagreements, which prevail in the talks, and which the paper believes are hindering the progress towards a comprehensive accord, fall into two categories. Some of these disagreements can be settled through discussions and in the upcoming days most of them will be solved and more headway will be made toward a deal.

But some critical issues exist in the talks which cannot be settled easily and must be addressed at a higher level with the attendance of top-ranking officials, it added.

That’s why European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton asked the foreign ministers of the P5+1 group of countries to join the nuclear talks in Vienna to help minimize the differences, noted the daily.

The ministers can give useful suggestions to their deputies conducting the talks to find a way-out.

Their presence could be helpful and pave the way for a deal as it happened during the Geneva talks six months ago when Iran and the P5+1 signed a historic, though interim, pact, known as the Joint Plan of Action.

Anyhow, achieving a final deal requires flexibility by both sides since such a deal serves the interests of all parties.

It should not be taken as the end of negotiations if this round fails to bear fruit. The two sides can extend the Geneva deal for another six months.

The US seems to be opposed to the extension of the interim deal because it wants to pressurize Iran into making compromises to reach a deal before the deadline.

There might be another reason for the opposition and that is the White house is under pressure from Congress.

The Russian delegation is not apparently so active in nuclear talks and some associate this to the recent diplomatic row with the West over the crisis in Ukraine.

It’s difficult to say that one party (Russia) seeks to throw the wrench in such multilateral negotiations in order to block a deal and win concessions.

However, there could be three scenarios for Russia’s possible rifts with Western members of the P5+1.

First, Russia might be displeased with some the demands made by the West during the talks. The same can be supposed for China.

Second, Russian and Chinese foreign ministers refused to join their counterparts in Vienna and preferred the BRICS summit hosted by Brazil to apparently give credit to the five-nation group which includes Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

And third, Russia might want to send a signal to its Western partners in the P5+1 that Moscow is still a major and influential player in the international arena and a final nuclear deal cannot be made if Russia disagrees.

Russia’s disagreements could be one or all of the above-mentioned points.

However, at the end of the day, Russia would have no way but to agree to a final deal.


Ali Khorram, author of the above article, serves as adviser to Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.