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  • Jul 12, 2014
  • Updated: 10:27am

Iran: nuclear plan 'backed' by six world powers

PUBLISHED : Friday, 08 November, 2013, 2:51am
UPDATED : Friday, 08 November, 2013, 2:51am

Iran's plan to cap some of the country's atomic activities in exchange for selective relief from crippling economic sanctions has been accepted by six world powers, the country's chief nuclear negotiator said yesterday.

The upbeat comments from Abbas Araghchi, reported by Iranian state TV, suggest that negotiators in Geneva are moving from broad discussions over a nuclear deal to specific steps limiting Tehran's ability to make atomic weapons.

In return, Iran would start getting relief from sanctions that have hit its economy hard.

"Today, they clearly said that they accept the proposed framework by Iran," Araghchi said. Though he described the negotiations as "very difficult", he said he expected agreement on details by today, the last scheduled round of the current talks.

International negotiators, representing the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany, declined to comment on Araghchi's statement.

The last round of talks three weeks ago reached agreement on a framework of possible discussion points. The two sides kicked off yesterday's round focused on getting to a "first step" - described by Western negotiators as an initial curb on uranium enrichment and other activities.

Though Tehran says it needs to do this work for peaceful purposes, the US and its allies fear Iran could turn it to use to arm warheads with fissile material.

Before the talks, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif met with top EU diplomat Catherine Ashton, who is convening the meeting.

Asked afterwards about the chances of agreement on initial steps this week, Zarif said: "If everyone tries their best, we may have one."

After nearly a decade of deadlock, Iran seems more amenable to making concessions to the six countries. Iran's new president, Hassan Rouhani, has indicated he could cut back on the nuclear programme in exchange for an easing of sanctions.

However, difficult issues remain. Iranian hardliners, for example, want significant sanctions reductions in exchange for scaling back enrichment, while some US lawmakers want the enrichment to stop altogether in exchange for loosening sanctions.

Officials from two of the delegations said the relief on offer at this meeting will be limited and is unlikely to affect the core sanctions on Iran's oil and finance sectors unless Tehran makes sweeping concessions.


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This article is now closed to comments

It’s now my opinion that Iran has most likely talked the clock out and it may now be too late to stop their nuclear program. I could be wrong as I have no spy teams working in Iran from which to get an opinion but based on many others over the years I’d have to think that it’s more likely now to be the correct opinion rather than the wrong one. In any case it is now better to fall on the side of caution. The focus may now be how to stop a nuclear strike on Israel. Deterrence alone is not something a radical muslim is likely be swayed by. The good news is that God said that after he brings Israel back into the land that they would never again leave it. God WILL protect them from being destroyed. They will suffer loss of life but God will not let them be removed. In 2012 I wrote a booklet that talks about some of what the Bible says will happen in the end times as well as what will happen during the seven year tribulation and other soon to take place events. I don’t accept donations and it’s free. It’s about 6 or 7 pages, so it’s a short read. I encourage you to have a look: ****www.booksie.com/religion_and_spirituality/book/richard_b_barnes/after-the-rapture-whats-next


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