MOSCOW, November 18 (Sputnik) — The negotiations on Iran’s nuclear programmme between the Islamic Republic and six world powers have commenced in Vienna Tuesday, in an attempt to strike a deal before the self-imposed psychological deadline of November 24.
Diplomatic representatives from Iran and the 5+1 group of global powers, namely the US, Germany, the UK, France, China and Russia, have come together in to Vienna for the final round of talks, in an attempt to conclude a comprehensive accord with Tehran on its claimed peaceful nuclear program.
If the deal is reached, it will end one of the worst standoffs in world politics of the early 21st century. It may also fan off the mutual hostility and distrust between the developed world and Iran, non-existent since the Islamic Revolution of 1979.
The parties involved say the compromise deal is possible, however, hardliners in both the US and Iran feel their respective negotiators should not give much. Distrust is the reason why the recent preliminary talks between US Secretary of State John Kerry, the EU diplomatic rep. Catherine Ashton and Iran’s FM Javad Zarif had failed, Voice of America reports.
"There's still a big gap. We may not be able to get there," US President Barack Obama said last Sunday as quoted by AFP.
The final round of nuclear talks will take place less than a week before the 24 November deadline, voluntarily self-imposed by the parties involved, after a preliminary deal was reached on the same day in 2013. Diplomats say the principal disagreements between the parties concentrate around the future scope of Iran’s uranium enrichment and the timing of the reduction in anti-Iranian sanctions.
Iran wants to be allowed to enrich more and have the sanctions lifted quicker, while the US assumes too much uranium will still potentially let Iran make a bomb and the sanctions should be lifted at a gradual pace, as Tehran may use the sudden relief to immediately buy a lot of conventional weapons.
"They [Iran] want everything, all at once and this is not realistic," a Western diplomat, participating in the negotiations, told AFP.
The US delegates are optimistic though. Last week Secretary Kerry said these negotiations are "the best chance we've ever had to resolve this issue peacefully". And now, chief US negotiator Wendy Sherman says, it is "time to finish the job", AFP reports.
If the accord is reached, both Obama and Iranian leader Khaminei will need to express their support and commitment for the move to calm hardliners, hawks and hotshots in their respective nations. Meanwhile, the GOP-dominated Congress is considering new sanctions against Iran in case the deal does not occur before November 24. Either the interim deal will be extended once more or the diplomatic efforts will fail completely.