Talks over Iran’s nuclear program extended

The Heat

Iran Nuclear Talks Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the Union of Foreign Affairs and Security Policy for the European Union, and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (R) give a press statement after round of talks of the European Union and Iran in Vienna, on July 18, 2014.

Iran’s foreign minister says his government means business. But the Islamic Republic and six world powers failed to reach a deal by the July 20th deadline over Tehran’s nuclear program.
The talks have been extended for another four months. The negotiations – involving the United States, Britain, France, China, Russia and Germany– the so called P5+1 – made some progress during two weeks of meetings this month in Vienna. But there was no consensus about Iran’s nuclear enrichment program and leaders returned home without a deal.

The international community wants to make certain Iran can’t produce a nuclear bomb. The Islamic Republic wants sanctions that have crippled its economy to be lifted.
Leaders from Iran and six world powers haggled for days, but in the end could only agree that a four month extension was needed. The marathon talks recessed early Saturday in Vienna.

Under the terms of the extension, the United States will give Tehran access to an additional $2.8 billion dollars in oil export revenues which had been frozen by sanctions.
In return, Iran has agreed to convert a quarter of its 20-percent enriched uranium stocks, which could be used to make a bomb, into fuel. That work includes convincing Iran to reduce its nuclear program and agree to more intrusive UN inspections.

The negotiations have been taking place since early this year—after a breakthrough interim deal was reached between the same parties in Geneva late last year. At that time, Iran agreed to temporarily freeze much of its program in exchange for limited relief from sanctions. The next few months could be the last and best chance for a final deal. Iran’s leadership has repeatedly denied it is seeking a nuclear weapon and says it’s determined to reach an agreement.

Talks over Iran's nuclear program extended, Seg. 1

Talks over Iran's nuclear program extended, Seg. 1

Iran’s foreign minister says his government means business. But the Islamic Republic and six world powers failed to reach a deal by the July 20th deadline over Tehran’s nuclear program.

Hillary Mann Leverett, a former U.S. diplomat with more than 25 years in foreign policy experience joins the discussion. She has also served in U.S. embassies in the Middle East.

Talks over Iran\'s nuclear program extended, Seg. 2

Talks over Iran\'s nuclear program extended, Seg. 2

Hillary Mann Leverett, a former U.S. diplomat with more than 25 years in foreign policy experience joins the discussion. She has also served in U.S. embassies in the Middle East.

Iran has spent billions of dollars on its nuclear program and hardliners within President Hassan Rouhani’s government oppose any concessions.
Reza Marashi is the Research Director for the National Iranian American Council. He joined us to discuss the political climate inside Iran.

Talks over Iran's nuclear program extended, Seg. 3

Talks over Iran's nuclear program extended, Seg. 3

Iran has spent billions of dollars on its nuclear program and hardliners within President Hassan Rouhani’s government oppose any concessions. Reza Marashi is the Research Director for the National Iranian American Council has insight on the political climate inside Iran.

  • The collapse of these talks and that lies with Supreme Leader Khamenei and his now infamous speech on July 7th where he not only denounced the US as Iran’s holy enemy, but double-downed on Iran’s inherent right to not only maintain its enrichment capability and expand and improve it. That sealed the deal for negotiators and an extension agreement was simply face saving. Iran knows that maintenance of its enrichment capability is a non-negotiable issue and one that will eventually lead to a collapse in any potential agreement. The hope was the Iran’s charm offensive with a smiling Rouhani and Zarif might be able to induce the selfie President to accept a deal, but all the Western nations, including China and Russia, are lock in step on denying Iran that enrichment capability. The real question now is what will the US do next since a deal won’t take place and that is where the real policy discussion should take place now.

    Since Iran’s constitution vests ultimate authority in its religious rulers, not much is
    going to change unless that form of government changes and that is exactly where the West needs to focus its attention, otherwise we will just end up circling back to the exact same spot four months from now again.