- Policy Briefs
Official reaction to the recent round of nuclear talks in Geneva between Iran and the P5+1 was generally positive, despite the fact that no deal was reached. The group had sought an initial agreement, under which Iran would suspend its nuclear program for six months in exchange for a modest and reversible easing of sanctions. Iran and the P5+1 would then use this six-month window to negotiate a comprehensive final agreement.
Iran and the United States have traded recriminations regarding which side walked away from the deal; U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has said the Iranian delegation needed to return home for consultations before signing off on the agreement, while Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif insisted rifts within the P5+1 scuttled the deal. However, both sides expressed optimism that an agreement remained within reach. British Foreign Secretary William Hague said a “deal can be done” and stated that only “narrow gaps” remain between the parties, while German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle claimed “significant progress” was made in Geneva. China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson described the talks as “very serious” and said differences had been narrowed. France appeared to be the most negative about the proposed accord, with French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius saying his country did not want to take part in a “con game.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has long warned of the dangers of a nuclear-armed Iran, issued a blistering statement on the second day of talks denouncing the proposed agreement as “the deal of the century” for Tehran and asserting that Israel would refuse to be bound by it.
In Congress, members have expressed concerns about a partial agreement that would relax sanctions while allowing Iran to pursue most of its nuclear work. In fact, some legislators have called for additional sanctions, in an effort to convince Tehran to restrain its nuclear program. The Obama administration aruges that new sanctions now could prompt Iran to walk away from the negotiating table.
Read reactions and analysis from around the world:
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says the parties were “extremely close” to an agreement, 11-11-13.
German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle cites “significant progress” in nuclear talks, 11-10-13.
Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Qin Gang says “differences narrowed” in Geneva, 11-11-13.
British Foreign Secretary William Hague judges “good chance” of a deal in the next few weeks, 11-10-13.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blasts proposed P5+1-Iran agreement, 11-8-13.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says talks showed “impetus to reach an agreement,” 11-10-13.
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius expresses his country’s dissatisfaction with the draft accord, 11-9-13.
U.S. Senator Bob Corker, the ranking Republican member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, discusses his worries about prematurely lifting sanctions, 11-10-13.
U.S. Senator Robert Menendez, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, says tougher sanctions will incentivize Tehran to give up its nuclear program, 11-11-13.