Monday, November 11, 2013

Kerry: World powers agree to nuclear deal, but Iran ‘walked away’

November 11, 2013

US Secretary of State John Kerry countered claims France had torpedoed nuclear talks with Iran, saying the six world powers “signed off” on a deal, but Iran wasn’t ready to accept it. Tehran and the UN nuclear watchdog agreed on a roadmap for cooperation.

Kerry delivered his comments in Abu Dhabi on Monday following rampant speculation behind why marathon talks between the P5+1 – the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France  and Germany – and Iran on Saturday failed to produce an agreement.

Speaking to reporters,  Kerry said the major powers were “unified on Saturday when we presented a proposal to the Iranians, and the French signed off on it, we signed off on it, and everybody agreed it was a fair proposal. There was unity, but Iran couldn’t take it at that particular moment, they weren’t able to accept that particular thing.”

Kerry added that the US was ”not (in) a race” to complete talks with Iran on its uranium enrichment program, reaffirming Washington’s commitment to defend its allies and not undermine ties with them.
Kerry officially confirmed Western diplomatic chatter on Sunday that contrary to widespread speculation, France was not responsible for scuttling the talks.

In the talks, France insisted that any agreement must entail Iran suspending construction of its Arak heavy-water reactor, which can produce plutonium, as well as halt uranium enrichment to a concentration of 20 percent. In return, Western powers would ease crippling sanctions that have battered Iran’s economy.
On Sunday, a senior American official who briefed Israeli reporters and experts in Jerusalem on Sunday said that the six world powers in the talks had in fact approved a working document and presented it to the Iranians, the New York Times cites Herb Keinon of The Jerusalem Post as saying

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