Iran nuclear talks’ deadline extended: the match is still open for many

Catherine Ashton, Vice-President of the EC and Coordinator and negotiator for the E3+3 group in the Iran nuclear negotiations, John Kerry, John Kerry, US Secretary of State, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, German Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs, and Laurent Fabius, French Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Development, at New York in September. The don't seem so happy now after the latest negotiations for Iran's nuclear programme. (EC Audiovisual Services, 25/09/2014)

Catherine Ashton, Vice-President of the EC and Coordinator and negotiator for the E3+3 group in the Iran nuclear negotiations, John Kerry, John Kerry, US Secretary of State, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, German Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs, and Laurent Fabius, French Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Development, at New York in September. The don’t seem so happy now after the latest negotiations for Iran’s nuclear programme. (EC Audiovisual Services, 25/09/2014)

One year and one day has passed since the Joint Plan of Action (JPA) was forged in Geneva, on November 24 2013, between Iran and the P5+1 Countries. The interim agreement went into effect on January 2014, and its first extension deadline was set to 24 November 2014, the date that was originally seen as the time for decision to be taken.

But the six countries – the United States, France, Germany, Russia, China and Britain – which have been in negotiations with Iran failed on Monday for a second time this year to resolve their long dispute over Tehran’s nuclear ambitions. This was one of the biggest news that came out of the tenth round of nuclear negotiations held in Vienna.

The deadline for a nuclear deal with Iran has been extended to the end of June, meaning that the seven powers officially gave themselves seven more months to reach a comprehensive agreement. According to Reuters, Western officials said they were willing to secure a final accord by March but that more time would be needed to reach a consensus on the more technical details. British foreign secretary Philip Hammond has reportedly said it was not possible to meet the November deadline due to wide gaps on well-known points of contention, and that expert level talks will resume in December.

“We don’t want just any agreement” Secretary of State John Kerry told a conference after the conclusion of the talks, last weekend in the Austrian capital. “We want the right agreement”, he added. “We would be fools to walk away,” Mr. Kerry stated in an all-round positive mode, which probably failed to cover all the doubts the lacking agreement left. And also some disappointment. “These talks are not going to get easier just because we extend them. They’re tough. They’ve been tough. And they’re going to stay tough,” he told reporters in Vienna.

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani’s displayed general optimism with his sayings. He said on Monday that a nuclear deal with world powers would be done despite a missed deadline in Vienna. “Most of the gaps have been removed,” Mr. Rouhani added on state television, referring to major differences that have so far prevented an interim deal being turned into a comprehensive settlement. In his speech on national television, he also casted the outcome of Vienna talks as some kind of victory for his part, saying that the fact that his country is seeking an accord with the West had not damaged Iran’s nuclear programme.

The situation is still quite complex, and the negotiation phase itself carries a lot of interests. There is still quite a big questionmark for the European Union too, and the role that it will play from now on. The EU has been playing a significant role since 2003 in the whole process as a negotiator and a supporter of a diplomatic solution. That was the EU to have spoken, and this was a big victory itself, but when the whole negotiation process got into a much more complex phase, in the last months, individuals played a crucial role.

Now there is a huge discussion on who will continue to handle the Iran nuclear question from the EU side. Former European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton’s role in the Iran nuclear talks is under discussion, and this was basically announced days before the meetings in Vienna started. Ms. Ashton has chaired the six-power group negotiating with Iran since becoming EU foreign policy chief in 2010. In July, when the Iranian nuclear talks were extended, the six-power group asked Ms. Ashton to stay in the job until the November 24 deadline, but with talks now set to continue for another seven months, her stay became unlikely.

The new EU Foreign Policy Chief, Federica Mogherini, said earlier on Monday she would discuss in coming days with her predecessor what should happen with the role, and so a decision is yet to come. Indeed many think her stay would cast shadow over the new High Representative, as Ms. Ashton no longer holds an official EU role.

However, in such difficult and delicate political situation, a skilled figure like Ashton would probably help the negotiations to speed up. It’s clear to everyone that US Secretary of State John Kerry’s role as the key person in the process has been growing since Ms. Ashton’s mandate came to an end. But the EU doesn’t want to miss the opportunity to maintain a pivotal role to try to push the talks forward.

All sides strongly want a deal because it would be the convenient thing for both parts. And also because there is no real alternative, except war. At the same time pressure is quite high for both Western and Iranian leaders. US President Barack Obama in particular has to overcome strong domestic debate started by Republican Senators, who say the extension should be coupled with increased sanctions. On the other hand Mr. Rouhani has been facing significant opposition to his agenda, after he promised to reduce Iran’s isolation but also to ensure the future ability to enrich uranium.

Tehran repeatedly dismissed any military aims claimed by Western countries that its nuclear program might have, saying it is completely peaceful. However, the six powers’ aim is to curb further the uranium enrichment to basically lengthen the time Iran would need to build a bomb.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Yemen: Tackling the world’s largest humanitarian crisis

4 things to know about the state of conflict today

5 amazing schools that will make you wish you were young again

Yemen: 11 more ‘terrible, senseless’ civilian deaths reported, following attack in Sana’a – top UN official

Hiring more female leaders is good for profits. Here’s the evidence

Upgraded EU visa information database to increase security at external borders

Towards a zero tobacco public space in Cameroon

On International Youth Day the European Youth Forum calls for true youth participation

Theresa May expresses her optimism about Britain’s economic success while UK business outlook seems ominous

EU Leaders’ meeting in Sofia: Completing a trusted Digital Single Market for the benefit of all

We need a new Operating System for the Fourth Industrial Revolution

European Accessibility Act: Parliament and Council negotiators strike a deal

Interview with ourselves: the mental health of health professionals

Could entrepreneurship be the real cure against the side effects of Brexit?

CLIMATE CHANGE FOCUS: Lake Chad trees keep deadly drought at bay

Another doomed EU attempt to interfere in Libya?

It’s time to strengthen global digital cooperation

A Sting Exclusive: China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi on South China Sea issue at the ASEAN Regional Forum

In Rwanda, high-speed drones are delivering blood to remote communities

Parliament sets up plan to fight the 3,600 criminal rings of EU

To all far-right partisans who exploit Charlie Hebdo atrocity: a peaceful reply given by a peaceful student

Preparing the future today: World Health Organisation and young doctors

Ensure that widows are ‘not left out or left behind’, UN chief urges on International Day

Member states jeopardising the rule of law will risk losing EU funds

Artificial intelligence: Commission takes forward its work on ethics guidelines

7 ways to break the fast fashion habit – and save the planet

EU budget: Commission proposes major funding increase for stronger borders and migration

Trump stumbles badly on his Russian openings; Europeans wary of Putin

EU mobilises €21 million to support Palestine refugees via the UN Relief and Works Agency

Your morning cup of coffee contains 140 litres of water

European Semester Autumn Package: Bolstering inclusive and sustainable growth

This surgeon runs a makeshift hospital for over 200,000 people

Marco Polo’s Dream

5 surprising ways to reuse coffee grounds

Youth Entrepreneurship Issue of the month: JEN, organisers of JADE October Meeting, on why JEs should come together

Global Citizen – Volunteer Internships

From Shadows to Sunlight, Paraguay’s Road to Transparency

UN postal agency ‘regrets’ US withdrawal

6 young leaders who are improving the state of the world on International Youth Day

Main results of EU-Japan summit which took place on 25/04/2019 in Brussels

These are the world’s most positive countries

European Business Summit 2014 Launch Event: “Energising Industrial Growth”

“Smoking steam instead of tobacco, are the E-cigarettes a safer alternative?”

Syria: ‘Deplorable’ violence in Idlib against civilians, humanitarian workers must ‘stop immediately’: UN Coordinator

Climate activist Greta Thunberg urges MEPs to put words into action

How music can help children with autism connect

‘Great cause of concern’ UN chief tells Security Council, surveying ‘bleak’ state of civilian protection

EU-UK: A deal synonymous to ‘remain’, England pays the Irish price

More refugees being helped by family, work and study permits, finds OECD and UNHCR study

UN chief welcomes re-opening of key Gaza border crossing

Human health – litmus paper for the climate change?

5 charts that explain big challenges facing Italy’s new government

UN chief welcomes new push by El Salvador’s political parties to begin fresh dialogue

Working Muslim women are a trillion-dollar market

New EU rules ensure better protection for 120 million holidaymakers this summer

US must abide by humanitarian refugee accords: UN refugee agency

Who is responsible for public health? The tendencies and its benefits –or not– on Health Education around the world

Statelessness for terrorists’ families, never an acceptable option, urges UN rights chief

UN police officer recognized for protecting vulnerable Somali women from abuse

European Youth Forum welcomes the European Commission’s proposed revision of the Union Code on Visas, however it does not go far enough

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s