USA Secretary of State John Kerry has said that “it is now time” to finalise a historic nuclear deal with Iran, on a ninth day of talks in Vienna between Tehran and major powers.
The comments came after several hours of meetings in Vienna between Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and ahead of the expected arrival of their counterparts from Russian Federation, Britain, France, Germany and possibly China.
Speaking at the same time as Sunday news shows aired in the USA, Kerry said that “if we don’t have a deal, if there’s absolute intransigence with the things that are important, President Obama has always said we would walk away”. He says hard choices must be made for a deal to be made by Tuesday, the latest deadline.
“Extending the talks is not an option for anyone…” We want to get an agreement. “Otherwise we prefer to return home to Tehran empty-handed”.
“If we had anytime, anywhere inspections, if there was no sanctions relief until there was long-term demonstrable performance on Iran’s part, if they fully answered all the past work they’ve done to weaponize their nuclear program, then that might be a better deal, but that’s not the deal we’re going to reach”, Cotton said.
While they have made some progress on the type of bilateral sanctions relief that Iran may receive, the two sides remain divided on such issues as lifting United Nations sanctions and on research and development using advanced centrifuges.
“It seems that the nuclear talks (with) Iran have yielded a collapse, not a breakthrough”, he said according to remarks released by his office, saying the deal would pave the way to Iran making nuclear bombs and increasing regional aggression.
“I sense that my negotiating partners have recognised that coercion and pressure never lead to lasting solutions but to more conflict and further hostility”, he was quoted by Reuters as saying.
“Our common threat today is the growing menace of violent extremism and outright barbarism”, he said in a clear reference to the rampaging Islamic State (IS) jihadist group that is a shared enemy for Tehran and Washington.
“If the deal could be closed, it is now”, Mogherini said.
But he stressed the IAEA would still need Iran’s cooperation to complete its probe.
The EU’s top foreign policy official, Federica Mogherini, said agreement was “very close”.