After a series of bilateral meetings on Wednesday and Thursday in Geneva between Iran and delegations from the six major power, and meetings between Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif and EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, it seems that there are some hesitations on both sides, at least for now. But the negotiations are reportedly set to go into the weekend.
Al-Monitor’s Laura Rosen reports from the site that U.S. and EU delegates were portraying the negotiations as more positive than the Iranians were, and aptly asks why?
Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi has spoken throughout the day of the need to rebuild trust and confidence. Tonight he was quoted as telling reporters at the hotel, “We haven't yet made any progress.”
France 24 reports that Iran and France “traded tough rhetoric” today. The French news channel said that differences on Arak heavy water reactor project, Iran’s insistence on an acknowledgement by the P5+1 of its right to enrich uranium and the extent of sanctions relief were still unresolved.
“Lots of progress was made last time, but considerable gaps remain, and we have to narrow the gaps,” France 24 quoted a senior Western diplomat as saying. “Some issues really need to be clarified. I sensed a real commitment ... from both sides. Will it happen? We will see. But, as always, the devil is in the details.”
Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry today told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that Ayatollah Khamenei’s comment that Israel is the “rabid dog” of the Middle East was "inflammatory" and "unnecessary."
The Iranian supreme leader made the comment yesterday in a speech to Basij paramilitary members in Tehran.
“Obviously we disagree with it profoundly … It’s inflammatory, it’s unnecessary, and I think at this moment when we are trying to negotiate what can and can’t be achieved, the last thing we need is names back and forth,” Kerry said.