Kerry arrives in Vienna for Iran nuclear talks
Iran Press TV
Thu Nov 20, 2014 6:30PM GMT
US Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Vienna Thursday for high-level negotiations on Iran's nuclear energy program, insisting that the talks were focused on a deal before the Nov. 24 deadline.
"We are not discussing an extension. We are negotiating to have an agreement. It's that simple," Kerry said in Paris before leaving for the Austrian capital.
The top US diplomat said both sides have "discussed in detail the full range of relevant issues" and are trying to "find common ground."
While in Paris, Kerry met with foreign ministers of France and Saudi Arabia, trying to bring on board two of the most hawkish countries on Iran as the talks approach a Monday deadline.
In a joint appearance before reporters, Kerry and his French counterpart, Laurent Fabius, both expressed hope that progress could be made, but acknowledged that some obstacles remained in the way of an accord.
"We hope that the gaps that exist, and they do exist, can be closed," Kerry said.
"There remain important points of difference," said Fabius.
During last year's negotiations in Geneva for an interim agreement with Iran, Fabius insisted that France would not accept a "fool's game."
Iran and the P5+1 - the US, France, Britain, Russia, China and Germany - are in talks in Vienna to work out a final deal aimed at ending the longstanding standoff over the Islamic Republic's nuclear energy program.
Sources close to the Iranian negotiating team say the main stumbling block to a nuclear accord is the removal of all sanctions imposed on the country, and not the number of centrifuges or the level of uranium enrichment.
US President Barack Obama has extended the so-called National Emergency Act with respect to Iran which would keep sanctions in place for at least another year.
|Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list|