John Kerry: ‘Iran nuclear talks could go either way’

By early afternoon, they were in discussions again.


To reach a deal, the parties still need to craft the details on lifting the sanctions and agree on procedures for supervising and inspecting Iran’s nuclear facilities. Top diplomats from five other negotiating countries are expected to start returning to Austria’s capital later Sunday.

“[W]hat’s coming out of the nuclear talks in Vienna is not a breakthrough, it’s a breakdown”, Netanyahu said.

The agreement will also lift economic sanctions on the country, after around a decade of financial barriers has impoverished the population. “We are very close”. “We don’t have Iran on board yet”.

Shortly after Kerry’s remarks, he walked back into another meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif. After arriving in Vienna, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius told reporters the main question was whether Iran would make “clear commitments” on unresolved issues.

Diplomats have said the real deadline is 9 July, the latest the deal can be presented to the US Congress to limit to 30 days a mandatory review period before Obama can begin suspending sanctions.

Araqhchi issued a warning that the talks could still collapse.

Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., the ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the co-sponsor of the bill giving a Congressional vote on the deal, agreed that the objective of the negotiations should be preventing Iran from becoming a nuclear state, but said he still believes that a strong agreement is possible.

That includes disconnecting centrifuge machines which enrich uranium – a process that can be used to produce fuel for both nuclear energy or nuclear weapons.

“I think it would be very difficult to imagine Secretary Kerry at this point walking away, this close to the finish line”, Iran expert Suzanne Maloney from the Brookings Institution told Agence France-Presse.

The stand-off has stalled an IAEA probe into the allegations that before 2003, and possibly since, Iran conducted research work into developing nuclear weapons.

“Over the last few days we have, in fact, made genuine progress”. After Kerry negotiated for eight straight days at the previous round in Lausanne, Switzerland, diplomatic historians called it the longest continuous senior-level meeting since the 1978 Camp David accords that led to a peace treaty between Israel and Egypt.

This is the 20th round of high-level talks since the groundbreaking phone conversation between US President Barack Obama and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani nearly two years ago.

Western and Iranian officials said there were signs of a compromise emerging on one of the major sticking points: access to Iranian sites to monitor compliance with a future agreement. “And when the time is right, we will all have more to say”.


Speaking after a whirlwind trip to Tehran, global Atomic Energy Agency chief Yukiya Amano said the United Nations watchdog aimed to issue a report by year’s end on the “clarification of the issues” concerned.