Current Talks Best Chance for Nuclear Deal

Current Talks Best Chance for Nuclear Deal
Current Talks Best Chance for Nuclear Deal

A top US negotiator says the current nuclear talks between Iran and the major powers are the best chance to reach a compressive deal to resolve the dispute over Tehran's nuclear program.  

"If Iran truly wants to resolve its differences with the international community -- and facilitate the lifting of economic sanctions -- it will have no better chance than between now and November 24," Reuters quoted US Under Secretary of State Wendy Sherman as saying on Thursday.

Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States are seeking to work out a final nuclear deal with Iran by the November 24 target date.

  Time to Finish Job    

"This is the time to finish the job," Sherman told a conference organized by the Center for Strategic and International Studies and Syracuse University's Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs.

She also said major powers negotiating with Iran have offered it ideas that are "equitable, enforceable and consistent with Tehran's expressed desire for a viable civilian nuclear program."

She said the United States and other major powers were prepared to reach an agreement and claimed it would ultimately be seen to be Iran's fault if one did not materialize.

"We hope the leaders in Tehran will agree to the steps necessary to assure the world that this program will be exclusively peaceful and thereby end Iran’s economic and diplomatic isolation and improve further the lives of their people," she said.

"If that does not happen, the responsibility will be seen by all to rest with Iran."

  A Puzzle With Many Interlocking Pieces

Elsewhere, Sherman suggested there may have been an inordinate focus on the number and quality of centrifuges that Iran might be allowed to spin under any comprehensive deal, saying the negotiation "is a puzzle with many interlocking pieces."

She said that "the status quo" on Iran's uranium enrichment capacity was not acceptable.

"The world will decide to suspend and then lift nuclear-related sanctions only if and when Iran takes convincing and verifiable steps to show that its nuclear program is and will remain entirely peaceful," she said. "That is a reasonable standard that Iran can readily meet."