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Jul 9, 2015

Iran nuclear deal close; impasse over weapons, missiles persists

VIENNA (Reuters) – Iran and six world powers were close to an historic nuclear agreement on Thursday that could resolve a more than 12-year dispute over Tehran’s nuclear ambitions, but they remained deadlocked on the issue of Iranian arms and missile trade.

Over the past two weeks, Iran, the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China have twice extended a deadline for completing a long-term deal under which Tehran would curb sensitive nuclear activities for more than a decade in exchange for sanctions relief.

Jul 8, 2015

Iran says makes new proposal in nuclear talks, West unimpressed

VIENNA (Reuters) – Iran has offered “constructive solutions” to resolve disputes in nuclear talks with six major powers, the Iranian Students news agency ISNA reported on Wednesday, but Western officials suggested they had heard nothing new from Tehran.

Iran and the powers are in the last stretch of talks to reach a final agreement to end a more than 12-year standoff over the country’s disputed nuclear program. The goal an agreement that would lift sanctions in exchange for curbs on Iran’s nuclear program for at least a decade.

Jul 6, 2015

Iran demands end to U.N. missile sanctions, West refuses – envoys

VIENNA (Reuters) – A dispute over U.N. sanctions on Iran’s ballistic missile programme and a broader arms embargo were among issues holding up a nuclear deal between Tehran and six world powers on Monday, the day before their latest self-imposed deadline.

“The Iranians want the ballistic missile sanctions lifted. They say there is no reason to connect it with the nuclear issue, a view that is difficult to accept,” one Western official told Reuters. “There’s no appetite for that on our part.”

Jul 6, 2015

Insight – Iranian nuclear deal set to make hardline Revolutionary Guards richer

VIENNA (Reuters) – Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards have done very well out of international sanctions — and if a nuclear deal is done in Vienna this week under which those sanctions are lifted, they are likely to do better still.

The Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), created by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini during Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution, is more than just a military force. It is also an industrial empire with political clout that has grown exponentially in the last decade, benefiting from the favour of former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, himself a former guardsman and, most recently, from the opportunities created by Western sanctions.

Jul 6, 2015

Iranian nuclear deal set to make hardline Revolutionary Guards richer

VIENNA (Reuters) – Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards have done very well out of international sanctions — and if a nuclear deal is done in Vienna this week under which those sanctions are lifted, they are likely to do better still.

The Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), created by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini during Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution, is more than just a military force. It is also an industrial empire with political clout that has grown exponentially in the last decade, benefiting from the favor of former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, himself a former guardsman and, most recently, from the opportunities created by Western sanctions.

Jul 6, 2015

Disputes over missiles and arms embargo hold up Iran talks

VIENNA (Reuters) – A dispute over U.N. sanctions on Iran’s ballistic missile programme and a broader arms embargo were among issues holding up a nuclear deal between Tehran and six world powers on Monday, the day before their latest self-imposed deadline.

“The Iranians want the ballistic missile sanctions lifted. They say there is no reason to connect it with the nuclear issue, a view that is difficult to accept,” one Western official told Reuters. “There’s no appetite for that on our part.”

Jul 6, 2015

Iran’s Zarif says differences remain in nuclear talks with major powers

VIENNA (Reuters) – Iran’s foreign minister said on Monday some differences still remained between Iran and the six powers over the country’s disputed nuclear program ahead of Tuesday’s deadline for a final agreement to end a 12-year-old dispute.

“Still nothing is clear. … Some differences remain and we are trying and working hard,” Mohammad Javad Zarif told reporters.

Jul 5, 2015

U.S. and Iran: the unbearable awkwardness of defending your enemy

VIENNA (Reuters) – It’s always awkward to defend your enemies. But that’s the position U.S. President Barack Obama’s administration has found itself in with Iran as it pushes for an historic accord that would end a 12-year nuclear standoff.

Tehran and Washington, which have called each other the “Great Satan” and a member of the “Axis of Evil” during 36 years of hostility, are more used to exchanging insults than defending each other. The two foes cut diplomatic ties after Iranian revolutionaries seized 52 hostages in Tehran’s U.S. embassy during the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Jul 4, 2015

Iran, powers push for nuclear deal; dispute over U.N. sanctions persists

VIENNA (Reuters) – Iran and world powers continued marathon talks on Saturday in an attempt to clinch an historic nuclear accord but remained divided on issues such as lifting U.N. sanctions and development of advanced centrifuges.

Diplomats close to the negotiations said they had tentative agreement on a mechanism for suspending U.S. and European Union sanctions on Iran.

Jul 4, 2015

Report on past Iran nuclear work could be ready by year end: IAEA

VIENNA (Reuters) – The U.N. nuclear watchdog could issue a report on its investigation into past Iranian research suspected of being linked to nuclear weapons development by the end of the year if Tehran cooperates, the agency’s chief said on Saturday.

“With cooperation from Iran, I think we can issue a report by the end of the year on the assessment of the clarification of the issues related to the possible military dimensions,” International Atomic Energy Agency director-general Yukiya Amano told reporters.

    • About Louis

      "I am Reuters' United Nations bureau chief based in New York. My previous postings were in Berlin, Vienna, Hong Kong and Prague. I have reported from Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa and the United States."
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