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Mar 28, 2015

Iran and powers close in on 2-3 page nuclear deal, success uncertain

LAUSANNE, Switzerland (Reuters) – Iran and major powers are close to agreeing a two- or three-page accord with specific numbers as the basis of a resolution of a 12-year standoff over Tehran’s nuclear ambitions, officials have told Reuters.

As the French and German foreign ministers arrived in Switzerland on Saturday to join talks between U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, Western and Iranian officials familiar with the negotiations cautioned that they could still fail.

Mar 27, 2015

Iran, six powers demand mutual concessions in tense nuclear talks

LAUSANNE, Switzerland, March 27 (Reuters) – Major powers and
Iran were pushing each other for concessions on Friday ahead of
an end-March deadline for a preliminary nuclear deal, with
Tehran demanding an immediate end to sanctions and freedom to
continue sensitive atomic research, officials said.

Tehran and six major powers — the United States, Britain,
France, Germany, Russia and China — are meeting in Lausanne,
Switzerland, to hammer out a political framework accord by the
end of this month that would lay the foundations for a full deal
by June 30.

Mar 26, 2015

U.S., Iran resume talks on preliminary nuclear deal as deadline looms

LAUSANNE, Switzerland (Reuters) – The United States and Iran resumed negotiations on Thursday aimed at clinching a nuclear deal before a March 31 deadline, and officials close to the talks said some kind of preliminary agreement between Tehran and six powers was possible.

As the talks began, Washington and Tehran took opposing stands on Saudi-led air strikes in Yemen against rebels allied to Iran who are fighting to oust the country’s president, but it was unclear whether this would affect the nuclear talks.

Mar 26, 2015

Cutting losses on Iran nuclear deal, Israel eyes small print

JERUSALEM/PARIS (Reuters) – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has begun to signal that Israel could resign itself to an Iranian nuclear deal that would leave its enemy with some uranium enrichment capability, a compromise he has long opposed.

The shift seems surprising given Netanyahu’s contentious speech to the U.S. Congress earlier this month in which he argued against world powers letting Tehran keep thousands of uranium centrifuges and remain on possible course to a bomb.

Mar 25, 2015

Facing resistance, U.S. pushes to meet deadline for Iran deal

WASHINGTON/PARIS (Reuters) – The United States will struggle to secure a framework nuclear deal between Iran and major powers by a March 31 deadline due to resistance from Tehran and scepticism among other countries, officials said.

With the two sides resuming negotiations this week, Washington is under heavy pressure as it pushes for the political framework accord that would lay the foundations for a full deal with Iran by June 30.

Mar 23, 2015

Israel’s Steinitz says world powers, Iran likely to agree bad nuclear deal

PARIS (Reuters) – Israel’s Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz said on Monday it was probable that world powers and Iran would agree a “bad deal” over Iran’s nuclear program, but he would still lobby to toughen any accord before talks resume this week.

“We think it’s going to be a bad, insufficient deal,” Steinitz told Reuters in an interview before meeting French officials in Paris. “It seems quite probable it will happen unfortunately”.

Mar 22, 2015

Israel reaches out to France before resumption of Iran nuclear talks

JERUSALEM/PARIS (Reuters) – Top Israeli envoys were sent to confer with French officials on Sunday about preventing what Israel considers an unfavorable nuclear deal with Iran after tensions surfaced between France and the United States ‎over negotiation strategy.

Though France has demanded more stringent restrictions than other Western delegations during talks with Iran, one French diplomat played down Israel’s sway in Paris, saying that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had overplayed his hand in a March 3 speech to the U.S. Congress.

Mar 21, 2015

Kerry says progress made in nuclear talks, time to make tough decisions

LAUSANNE, Switzerland (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Saturday talks with Iran had made genuine progress and the time had come to make hard decisions in reaching a deal to curb Tehran’s nuclear program.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani was quoted by state news agency IRNA as saying there was “nothing that cannot be resolved” between the parties, who seek a deal by the end of June.

Mar 21, 2015

France says deal with Iran must be robust, guarantee no atomic bomb

LAUSANNE, Switzerland (Reuters) – France’s foreign minister said on Saturday that his country wanted an agreement over Iran’s nuclear program that was sufficiently robust to guarantee that Tehran could not acquire an atomic bomb.

Iran and six world powers – the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China – suspended negotiations on a nuclear agreement on Friday and are set to meet again next week to break a deadlock over sensitive atomic research and lifting of sanctions.

Mar 20, 2015

European negotiator says framework accord with Iran unlikely soon

LAUSANNE, Switzerland (Reuters) – Six world powers are unlikely to reach a framework agreement with Iran on its nuclear work in the coming days as the sides are still far apart on key issues, a senior European negotiator said on Thursday, blaming Tehran for failing to compromise.

“Contrary to what the Iranians are saying with regard to 90 percent of an accord being done, that’s not correct,” the negotiator told reporters on condition of anonymity. “We are not close to an agreement.”