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Nuclear Talks With Iran Ends With No Deal


DonLever

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Marathon talks on a deal to temporarily curb Iran's nuclear program ran into trouble Saturday after France raised objections to a draft agreement, complaining it did not go far enough to contain Iran's nuclear ambitions.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and foreign ministers of six other delegations conferred with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in a late-night session which broke up after midnight with no deal in place. Talks are expected to reconvene on Nov. 20.

France's insistence on tough terms on Iran dispelled an atmosphere of optimism that had prevailed since the talks began Thursday. French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius spoke of "several points that … we're not satisfied with compared to the initial text," telling France-Inter Radio his nation does not want to be part of a "con game."

He did not elaborate, but it appeared France wanted tougher constraints on a reactor that will make plutonium when completed and also on parts of Iran's uranium enrichment program.

Iranian state TV strongly criticized the French position, calling France "Israel's representatives at the talks," while Iran's IRNA news agency cited Iranian President Hassan Rouhani as urging world powers to reach a deal.

The French position dampened much of the optimism surrounding the opening of the talks Thursday. As the day dragged on Saturday, comments by Zarif increased skepticism that the two sides would agree on the full contours of a first-step deal at the current negotiating round.

"There are differences," Zarif told Iranian state TV, adding that if open questions remained after Saturday, the talks would reconvene within a week to 10 days.

Iran's Arak reactor southeast of Tehran could produce enough plutonium for several nuclear weapons a year once it goes online. Beyond differences over that part of Iran's nuclear program, Fabius said there was disagreement over efforts to limit Iran's uranium enrichment to levels that would require substantial further enriching before they could be used as the fissile core of a nuclear weapon.

French Foreign Ministry spokesman Romain Nadal said the powers negotiating with Iran were broadly united and that France wanted "the international community to see a serious change in the climate" of talks with Iran.

"There have been years of talks that have led to nothing," Nadal said, alluding to the need for tough terms on Iran.

Iran insists it is pursuing only nuclear energy, medical treatments and research, but the U.S. and its allies fear that Iran could turn this material into the fissile core of nuclear warheads. Iran currently runs more than 10,000 centrifuges that have created tons of fuel-grade material that can be further enriched to arm nuclear warheads.

It also has nearly 200 kilograms of higher-enriched uranium in a form that can be turned into weapons much more quickly. Experts say 250 kilograms of that 20 per cent-enriched uranium are needed to produce a single warhead.

Reactor ready next year

Iran says it expects Arak, the plutonium producing reactor, to be completed and go online sometime next year. It would need additional facilities to reprocess the plutonium into weapons-grade material, and the UN's nuclear agency monitoring Iran's atomic activities says it has seen no evidence of such a project.

Fabius said Iran opposes suspending work on Arak while nuclear negotiations go on. He said France considers suspension absolutely necessary.

Iran also is being asked to blend down "a great part of this stock at 20 per cent, to 5 per cent," Fabius said. Uranium enriched to 5 per cent is considered reactor fuel grade, and upgrading it to weapons-level takes much longer than for 20 per cent enriched uranium.

Fabius suggested that the six powers were looking for an Iranian commitment to cap future enrichment at 5 per cent.

Kerry arrived in Geneva on Friday followed by counterparts from Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany with the talks at a critical stage following a full day of negotiations Thursday. He said some obstacles remained in the way of any agreement offering sanctions reductions for nuclear concessions.

Catherine Ashton, the European Union's foreign policy chief, is overseeing the talks.

© The Associated Press, 2013

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I think WWIII is going to happen, and the New World Order will begin. But I hope I am proved wrong.

That has been said for years and nothing has happened. Most countries already have their crap to worry about...bad economy, natural disasters etc.

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I think WWIII is going to happen, and the New World Order will begin. But I hope I am proved wrong.

WW3 will start when the Islamic states recognize and restore the seat of the Caliph, likely with their Mahdi. Then you will see them try to restore the power of the Ottoman empire through conquest. These countries will no longer hide behind these false prestenses of peace.

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That has been said for years and nothing has happened. Most countries already have their crap to worry about...bad economy, natural disasters etc.

If it that's the case, then every country would be excited to join the new world order where one government rules all of earth.

They would have all of their problems "fixed", or at least that's what they would be promised.

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I think WWIII is going to happen, and the New World Order will begin. But I hope I am proved wrong.

well it certainly won't be Iran starting it.........perhaps a nearby foe might though. Iran is not a threat, nor has it made any moves to threaten any other nation.

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If it that's the case, then every country would be excited to join the new world order where one government rules all of earth.

They would have all of their problems "fixed", or at least that's what they would be promised.

I may not see all the negatives right now, but couldn't ridding the world of nationalistic ideals and differences with the establishment of a unified Earth government possibly be a good thing?! I guess there may be the possibility of abuse by people in power, but it would be no different than it is today.

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lol

He is telling it like it is. Iran won't be starting any crap with other countries when they are already suffering from the sanctions. Besides, when has Iran been to war? The Iraq-Iran war that ended in 1988 is the only recent war that comes to mind. I bet you that US will be the catalyst to start a WWIII if there ever was one.

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He is telling it like it is. Iran won't be starting any crap with other countries when they are already suffering from the sanctions. Besides, when has Iran been to war? The Iraq-Iran war that ended in 1988 is the only recent war that comes to mind. I bet you that US will be the catalyst to start a WWIII if there ever was one.

exactly, and who started that war? Hussein with his american weapons and funding

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