- The Washington Times
Friday, November 22, 2013

Iran and the heads of state for six different nations nearly threw in the towel Friday after two days of nuclear discussions, admitting to several stumbling blocks similar to issues that have cropped up in the past.

Specifically, Iran wants the international community to agree that it has the sovereign right to enrich uranium — a necessary step on the path to nuclear weapon development, Reuters reported. The nation insists its development program is for peaceful purposes only and not to make weapons.

The international community again balked at the notion, as well as Iran’s push for significant relief from sanctions and the open-door ability to pursue its heavy water reactor project at Arak.

Among the key players that had been involved in recent talks with Iran were the United States, China, France, Britain and Germany. Russia announced Friday it was sending Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to Geneva with hopes of reigniting debates, Reuters reported.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu headed to Geneva earlier this week in hopes of influencing others to tread slowly about striking a deal.

Talks earlier this week were bogged down by bureaucratic lingo and marred by disputes and arguments among the participating players — yet optimism reigned, Reuters reported. But Friday’s stymied atmosphere seemed to swing the diplomatic pendulum to the other side.

“We are negotiating our differences and we have made considerable progress,” Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, told Reuters. “In some cases, we have had results … but still we have three, four differences.”


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