Tense Days in the Coming Six Weeks on a Nuclear Deal

[original article in Radio Zamaneh]

Iran and the P5+1 continued discussions for a final nuclear agreement on Tuesday, May 12th in Vienna. In spite of the differences that still remain – according to an Iranian negotiator, they added parentheses to the final draft [indicating the parts where disagreements still remain] – both sides, America and the Islamic Republic, have spoken of progress being made in their speeches.

During a press conference in Paris, John Kerry, US Secretary of State, said: “The nuclear negotiations are closer to the final objective and now the details need to be adjusted.” Salehi, head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, said “negotiations are going well.”

With the optimism of the United States and the other five major powers who want to limit Iran’s nuclear program and reach a long term agreement with the Islamic Republic, opponents of this deal are watching with much pessimism and uncertainty.

Prior to these most recent negotiations, 60 representatives of Iran’s Parliament signed a letter addressed to the Speaker of Parliament asking to end the negotiations because of the threat of the military threat against Iran. They referred to the speeches of Vice President Joe Biden and US Secretary of State John Kerry who stated that: “A military option is still on the table.” The request to end negotiations by the representatives of Parliament was denied by the Speaker.

With the binding agreement from the US House that was approved by the Senate, President Obama is required to disclose the details of a potential agreement with the Islamic Republic to Congress for review. This action has made it clear to the 200 members of Iran’s Parliament that the obligations of the US Department of State and the results of their negotiations are at the discretion of their Congress.

There is continued controversy and criticism towards the Secretary of State and Rouhani’s government that the Lausanne fact sheet that has not been published in Iran. Taghvi Hosseini, the Representative of Varamin [a province in Iran], stated in Parliament that: “Others have insisted on the release of the proposed agreement but we’ve yet to receive it.”

It seems that in the coming six weeks, until the end of June, the negotiations and diplomatic measures will be very tense. Especially, the dispute over the lifting of UN sanctions in case Iran violates the nuclear agreement, as well as Iran’s concern over the mechanisms of which they can purchase nuclear technology. These are the same concerns that are in parentheses of the final draft.

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