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Iran Says Differences Remain At Nuke Talks

  • RFE/RL

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif was initially upbeat about talks involving U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in Geneva on November 8.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif was initially upbeat about talks involving U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in Geneva on November 8.

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says no deal has been struck with world powers over the country’s disputed nuclear program.

Zarif, quoted by Iranian news agency ISNA, said on November 9 that differences remained between the two sides.

"We have reached an agreement on some questions, but on others there are still disagreements," he said.

Zarif's comments followed initial optimism after the foreign ministers of the United States, France, Germany, Britain, Russia, and China flew into Geneva to add momentum to the talks, which began on November 7.

But cracks seemed to emerge among the group of world powers after French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius raised concerns over an initial draft of the deal.

Fabius spoke of "several points that...we're not satisfied with compared to the initial text," telling France-Inter Radio his country did not want to be part of a "con game."

He also said there was "no certainty" a deal could be reached and that Israel's "concerns" need to be taken into consideration.

"I hope there will be an agreement, but at this stage there are still important points to deal with," Fabius said.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned on November 8 that the United States was offering Iran the "deal of the century," saying the proposed agreement was "very bad."

Iran denies that its nuclear program is aimed at developing nuclear weapons, as many in the international community suspect. The six world powers are reportedly ready to ease some economic sanctions against Iran if Tehran takes clear steps to limit its nuclear program.

Iran's ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency, Reza Najafi, said on November 9 that Tehran expects to sign an agreement with the IAEA when the agency's head, Yukiya Amano, visits Tehran on November 11.

The IAEA is seeking to investigate allegations that Iran sought to develop nuclear weapons and, in particular, wants to visit the Parchin military base outside of Tehran. Iran has refused, saying the site was inspected in 2005 and that it is not a nuclear facility.

With reporting by AP and Reuters
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