Iran, powers to meet next week on carrying out nuclear deal

DUBAI Sun Dec 1, 2013 7:26am EST

The flag of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) flies in front of its headquarters during a board of governors meeting in Vienna November 28, 2013. REUTERS/Heinz-Peter Bader

The flag of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) flies in front of its headquarters during a board of governors meeting in Vienna November 28, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Heinz-Peter Bader

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DUBAI (Reuters) - Envoys of Iran and six world powers will meet next week to start working out steps to implement a deal under which Tehran is to curb its nuclear program in return for some respite from sanctions, a top Iranian negotiator said.

The landmark November 24 interim accord between the Islamic Republic and the United States, France, Germany, China, Russia and Britain is seen as a first step towards resolving a decade-old dispute that has stirred fears of a new Middle East war.

Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi was quoted by the state-run news agency Fars as saying in a television interview that Tehran was expecting to hear from senior European Union diplomat Helga Schmid soon.

"Schmid is supposed to call us this week and it's likely our experts will negotiate in the coming week in Geneva or Vienna to find a mechanism for implementation," he said.

But, underlining years of mutual distrust, Araqchi said the deal was not legally binding and Iran had the right to undo it if the powers failed to hold up their end of the bargain.

"The moment we feel that the opposite side is not meeting its obligations or its actions fall short, we will revert to our previous position and cease the process," Fars quoted Araqchi, a senior member of Iran's negotiating team, as saying. "We are in no way optimistic about the other side - we are pessimistic - and we have told them that we cannot trust you."

A senior Western diplomat described the implementation phase of the deal as "extremely complex and difficult".

Iran's envoy to the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency had said on Friday that the implementation phase was expected to start by early January, with Western diplomats saying a start to sanctions relief would hinge on verification by U.N. inspectors that Iran was fulfilling its side of the deal.

A diplomatic opening was created after the election in June of a relative moderate, Hassan Rouhani, as Iranian president, on a pledge to end Tehran's isolation and win relief from sanctions that have battered the oil producer's economy.

The deal is designed to halt any further advances in Iran's nuclear campaign and to buy time for negotiations on a final settlement aimed at ensuring Tehran's nuclear activity is wholly peaceful in nature.

Iran rejects suspicions that it has sought covertly to develop the capacity to produce nuclear weapons, saying it is enriching uranium solely for civilian energy purposes.

(Reporting by Isabel Coles in Dubai and Fredrik Dahl in Vienna; Editing by Jon Hemming and Mark Heinrich)

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Comments (4)
libertyville wrote:
In what kind of negotiation does one side agree to lift all sanctions if the other side agrees to talk about their ongoing and planned nuclear exploits? I wouldn’t want these “professionals” negotiating a used car deal for me.

Dec 01, 2013 9:21am EST  --  Report as abuse
hariknaidu wrote:
1. It seems POTUS made a serious mistake by inviting Israel to join his own (NSC) team on implementation of P5+1 Agreement. Even if hawks in Congress/Senate instigated this action by Obama, it will not work with Iran.

2. Iran will not negotiate with P5+1 – with Israel at the table – officially or unofficially.

3.Under NPT policy framework, IAEA will NEVER stop Iran from uranium enrichment for peaceful purposes. Israel wants Iran to STOP & completely dismantle its nuclear program – meanwhile Israel has not signed NPT +300 Israeli WMD are deployed in the desert.

4.Saudi Arabia is not satisfied with P5+1 Agreement; however, if it finally works, and Iran doesn’t produce WMD – it’s feasible that Saudi’s will invoke demand for WMD-free zone in ME under UNSC/IAEA mandate.

5. Bibi will be checkmated should it become transparent Iran doesn’t want WMD on its soil.

Dec 01, 2013 12:23pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Since even Israel agrees that Iran does not yet possess a nuclear weapon, Iran, by ratifying the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, either alone or in conjunction with Israel, has a way toward stabilizing and advancing from the present stage of negotiations. A brief history of the CNTB may be found at https://www.facebook.com/notes/americas-goats/history-of-the-comprehensive-nuclear-test-ban-treaty/506023569482034

Dec 01, 2013 1:06pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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