Diplomacy Best Option for Nuclear Dispute

Diplomacy Best Option for Nuclear Dispute
Diplomacy Best Option for Nuclear Dispute

A US official said Washington believes that a diplomatic resolution of Iran's nuclear program is the best option for all parties involved in the negotiations.

Marie Harf, the deputy spokesperson for the US Department of State, said on Tuesday, "We’ve always said that a diplomatic outcome to the nuclear issue is the most durable, the most long-term, the best in everyone’s interests, including, most importantly, our national security interests," according to the website of the State Department. Harf's remarks came after Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on the same day that thanks to the nuclear negotiations there is no longer any talk of a war with Iran.

Zarif said in an address on "nuclear diplomacy" at a university in Tehran, "Because of these negotiations, the Islamic Republic of Iran has become safer ... and less vulnerable than before... No one can any longer beat the drums of war ... the hostile atmosphere created against us has dissipated. The world has realized that mutual understanding and common interests can lead to an agreement."

Iran and the P5+1 (Britain, China, France, Russia, the United States and Germany) missed a November 24 deadline to reach a comprehensive settlement of a 12-year dispute over Tehran's nuclear program. They agreed to extend the talks for seven months until June 30, 2015 to give themselves more time and space to finalize a political accord.

The US official pointed to the chances that the parties could narrow their differences and strike a deal by the end of next June and said, "These are very technically complex issues. And as the secretary (of state) said, we have made a great deal of progress from where we were a year ago to where we are today. In these negotiations we have – we are light years where we were from when we started at the JPOA implementation last November. We are closer than ever before today to a comprehensive agreement. Are we going to get there? None of us know. The Iranians don’t know. We don’t know."

Harf was referring to the so-called Joint Plan of Action which was signed between Iran and the six major powers in Geneva in November 2013, under which Iran agreed to temporarily limit parts of its nuclear work in exchange for a limited easing of sanctions.