P5+1 Powers Lack Unanimity

P5+1 Powers  Lack UnanimityP5+1 Powers  Lack Unanimity

The secretary of the Supreme National Security Council lamented the lack of "unanimity" and "cohesion" among the major powers engaged in Iran nuclear negotiations, which have gone past three deadlines for a final deal in two weeks.  

"We are witnessing that there is no cohesion and unanimity among the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany)," Ali Shamkhani told reporters, adding that consensus is lacking within the American society as well.

"On the contrary, we are witnessing decisive action on the part of the Islamic Republic of Iran, which is an independent country."

He made the remarks on the sidelines of Friday's nationwide rallies held to mark International Quds Day.

Missing a Friday morning deadline, the negotiators gave themselves until Monday to reach the comprehensive agreement. The latest extension means any deal sent to the US Congress before September 7 would now be subject to a 60-day review period, double the time that would have been allowed if the July 9 deadline had been met.

US and European Union officials said they were also extending through Monday sanctions relief for Iran under an interim deal signed in 2013 in Geneva.

The foreign minister had also accused the United States and its negotiating partners of changing their positions and backtracking on an April 2 preliminary agreement reached in Lausanne that was meant to lay the ground for the final accord.

Voicing regret over insistence by some parties involved in the talks on their "excessive demands", Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Friday, "Unfortunately, we are witnessing both shifts in positions and excessive demands."

***Negative Factors

Shamkhani said some P5+1 members have been acting under the influence of some regional countries and Israel, which have held a hostile position on the talks, IRNA reported.

"There are various influential and negative factors not allowing the nuclear negotiations to be driven by logic."

"The fact is that the other side lacks political power because what they say at the negotiating table is not consistent with what they say in the media," which is why Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has expressed pessimism about the negotiations, he noted.

Shamkhani said since day one of the talks, Iran knew from experience that "the other side" cannot be trusted to show "reasonable" and "logical" behavior.

"Since day one we have been committed to negotiations and we still are," he said, echoing Zarif who stressed Tehran would never pull out of negotiations.

Shamkhani reiterated that Tehran is in pursuit of a "good" deal, adding, "A good deal will be one that keeps the nuclear industry alive and advancing and terminates unfair, unilateral sanctions and does not undermine our independence, security and defense."

Red lines have been outlined based on a "rational" approach to ensure such a deal, he said, criticizing the western side for throwing up new stumbling blocks to the deal.

"We hope the western side resolves problems among its members and drops its excessive demands."

The negotiating sides remain divided over issues that include a UN arms embargo on Tehran which western powers want to keep in place, access for UN inspectors to Iranian sites and answers from Tehran over its past nuclear activities.

Both sides to negotiations say there has been progress in two weeks of talks, but British Foreign Minister Philip Hammond called it "painfully slow".

"We are making progress, it's painfully slow," Hammond told reporters in Vienna on Friday, according to Reuters.

China's official Xinhua news agency quoted a diplomatic source as saying the West and Tehran had almost agreed on the clarification of the alleged possible military dimensions of Iran's past nuclear work.

Iran says its nuclear activities are solely for peaceful purposes, denying the charge that it may have sought to develop a nuclear weapons capability under the guise of a civilian program.