‘Almost no major area of dispute has been effectively settled yet’
With just one month remaining in the expiration of the interim nuclear agreement, JPOA, Iran and P5+1 negotiators seemed today unable to settle any major areas in dispute, Al-Monitor reported tonight. There is now a real possibility that the two sides would be forced to renew JPOA for another six month, questioning the viability of any comprehensive agreement in future.
The biggest news in the current round of talks is the surprisingly strong Russian and Chinese support of United States and EU’s insistence on reducing the current size of Iran’s enrichment centrifuges. Russia and China have been regarded as the most consistent and sympathetic allies of the Iranians
Uranium enrichment is an area Iran needs to make a hard choice between continuing its demand to increase its current centrifuge numbers to between 50,000-100,000 or accept the unified (and not just Western) P5+1 demand of reducing the current inventory to a few thousands. Iran wants to provide fuel to Bushehr power reactor, even though Russia is committed to do so, and the West wants to prolong Iran’s breakout capability.
The current round of talks between Iran and P5+1 will end on Friday. There are reports that the next round would be held on 2 July, three weeks before the expiration of JPOA.
Photo credit: (L to R) EU Deputy Secretary General Helga Schmid, Vice President of the European Commission Catherine Margaret Ashton, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and Iranian deputy foreign minister Abbas Araqchi attend P5+1 talks with Iran at the UN headquarters in Vienna, June 17, 2014. (Dieter Nagl/AFP/Getty Images/Al-Monitor)