Tags: Iran | Iran | Nuclear talks | sanctions

On Iran Nuclear Talks, Neither Side Wants Blame for Failure

Image: On Iran Nuclear Talks, Neither Side Wants Blame for Failure
(Brian Snyder/AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Thursday, 02 Apr 2015 07:48 AM

The United States maintains that should talks in Lausanne, Switzerland over Iran's presumed quest for nuclear weapons break down the blame must be seen to fall squarely on Teheran. Otherwise, it would be difficult to maintain, and perhaps intensify, economic sanctions against the Islamic Republic, Politico reported.

"If the United States could be blamed for the talks falling apart, then it would be hard to preserve international unity around the imposition of sanctions," said White House press secretary Josh Earnest.

"We do not envision a scenario where we would abruptly and arbitrarily end the talks that are productive," though "at the same time, these conversations are not open-ended," Earnest told reporters.

Washington would only walk away from the talks in coordination with the international community, he said.

For its part, the Islamic Republic has said that if the talks collapse it will be because there are difficulties in negotiating with six separate countries with different interests.

The Iranian position as articulated most recently by Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi is that any agreement must include lifting economic sanctions. "In the first step of the agreement all of the economic and banking and oil sanctions [must] be lifted and sanctions that are related to other areas [must] be put under a clear framework" for removal, according to Politico.

The U.S. position is that if the entire sanctions regime is lifted as a quid pro quo for an agreement and Iran did not honor its commitments it would be difficult to muster international will to re-impose them. Russia and China have made it clear that they would oppose the automatic re-imposition of sanctions if Iran is caught cheating, according to The Atlantic Council.

Earnest said that the international community is seeking to "shut down every pathway" Iran has to nuclear weapons" and to get Teheran's agreement on "intrusive inspections that would ensure that they're living up to the agreement."

The U.S. has wanted Iran to ship its nuclear stockpile out of the country. The Iranians after reportedly first agreeing now say no. Washington insists that the amount of bomb-grade material left in Iran be small enough to give the world a year's notice should Teheran start building a nuclear weapon, according to The New York Times.

The Arab states
insist that any deal must preclude Iran's ability to enrich uranium, the Independent reported. That is also the longstanding position of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The Obama administration has been saying since 2013 that pressuring Iran to give up enrichment altogether was unrealistic.

Should the Lausanne talks produce a political agreement technical negotiators would still have to iron out the details with an ostensible deadline of June 30.

Congress will likely insist on April 13 that any deal reached in Lausanne be subject to its approval, Politico reported.

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The United States maintains that should talks in Lausanne, Switzerland over Iran's presumed quest for nuclear weapons break down the blame must be seen to fall squarely on Teheran.
Iran, Nuclear talks, sanctions
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2015-48-02
Thursday, 02 Apr 2015 07:48 AM
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