U.S., Iran Says Nuclear Talks Big Differences Persist in Vienna

Posted by Joseph R. Fonseca
Sunday, July 13, 2014
Secretary of State John Kerry


Secretary of State of the United States, John Kerry said Sunday that there are still large differences between Iran and six world powers negotiating over Tehran's nuclear program, comments echoed by the Islamic Republic, while the deadline approaches to reach an agreement.

United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Russia and China want Iran to reduce its ability to produce nuclear fuel for denying any means to produce atomic bombs quickly.

In return, the international sanctions that have hit the economy of OPEC member dependent on its oil exports gradually rise country.

Iran says it is enriching uranium for peaceful purposes related to power generation and wants sanctions are removed quickly.

But its history of concealing sensitive to UN inspectors suspect nuclear activities have generated internationally and the risk of a new war in the Middle East if diplomacy fails to agree long term.

"Obviously we still have very significant gaps, so we need to see if we can make some progress," Kerry said before a meeting with the foreign policy chief of the European Union, Catherine Ashton, and other foreign ministers of the EU traveled to the Austrian capital for the weekend to give new life to dialogue.

The Deputy Foreign Minister of Iran, Abbas Araqchi, delivered a similar message. He was quoted by Channel Iranian TV al-Alam Arabic language, saying that "disputes all great and important persist topics. We have not been able to bridge the gaps on the major issues and it is unclear whether we can achieve ".

Kerry arrived in Vienna in the morning, after reaching an agreement in Kabul with Afghan President candidates to end the election crisis.

"It is vital to ensure that Iran will not develop a nuclear weapon and that its program is peaceful, that's what we're trying to accomplish here, and hopefully we can achieve some progress," Kerry said in Vienna.

Araqchi said "he is not pessimistic, but it is not very optimistic" about the chances of reaching an agreement with the sextet before the self-imposed deadline. "No proposal has been accepted yet. We have not reached any agreement on the (Iranian program) enrichment and ability," he said.

He added that if negotiations fail, Iran resumed enrichment of high-level suspended on January 20, when a preliminary agreement between the parties was reached two months before entry into force. Iran scored a partial easing of sanctions in exchange.

The agreement of November 24 included a provision to extend negotiations on a permanent agreement in six months if all parties agree. Araqchi said "there is a possibility to extend negotiations for a few days or a few weeks if progress is made."

A senior official of the United States said an extension would be difficult to see without seeing "significant progress on key issues." 

(Additional reporting by Parisa Hafezi, Fredrik Dahl and Louis Charbonneau; Written by Louis Charbonneau; Spanish Editing by Peter Cooney)

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