Hopes High for Nuclear Settlement

Hopes High for Nuclear Settlement   Hopes High for Nuclear Settlement

A political analyst said hopes are still high that Iran and the major powers can clinch a comprehensive deal on Tehran's nuclear program by the June 30 deadline.

Ali Khorram made the remarks in an interview with ISNA published on Tuesday.  

Referring to the recent remarks by US Secretary of State John Kerry that President Barack Obama is prepared to halt the nuclear talks with Iran if he feels the negotiations are not productive, he commented that the US administration seeks to mollify the US Congress, which has demanded tougher line on Tehran's nuclear program.

In a press conference after his meeting with his British counterpart in London on Saturday, Kerry said, "Our target (for the basic framework of a long-term nuclear deal) remains, as the president has said, towards the end of March, and I am absolutely confident that President Obama is fully prepared to stop these talks if he feels that they're not being met with the kind of productive decision making necessary to prove that a program is, in fact, peaceful."

Khorram said, "The US Congress has set a March 24 target date for the talks to reach a result. The bill, based on which fresh sanctions are to be placed on Iran, will come up before Congress for a vote if the negotiations fail to reach a conclusion," adding that the Obama administration and the US secretary of state, therefore, are trying to assure Congress that the talks are approaching a good end.

He also said the threat by the US administration that they will leave the negotiating table if the talks stall seems to be meant to address the fear that Congress may decide to advance the sanctions bill.   

Elsewhere, the former diplomat said Iran and the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany) are obviously keen to reach an agreement.

He said the talks have some opponents who make efforts to disrupt the negotiating process, such as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who spares no effort to block a nuclear agreement with Iran relying on the Republicans in the US Congress.