As Iran considers a Western proposal dealing with some aspects of Tehran’s nuclear program while extending talks to March, Foreign Ministers have remained in Vienna, two days before interim arrangements expire.
Both Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and US Secretary of State John Kerry had said they were leaving for consultations — Zarif to Tehran to see the Supreme Leader and President Rouhani; Kerry to Paris for meetings with British and French counterparts — but each changed plans by Friday night and held a two-hour meeting.
Reliable sources informed EA on Friday that the 5+1 Powers (US, Britain, France, Germany, China, and Russia) had put a new proposal to Iran. Details were not available, such as the arrangements for Iran’s uranium centrifuges or the lifting of US-led sanctions, but the Iranians were “hopeful” of an agreement that would extend the negotiations while resolving some issues.
Earlier on Friday, Zarif had been downbeat, saying that world powers had made “no significant propositions worth returning to Tehran with”. However, Iranian State media offer brief confirmation this morning of developments, reporting that “Zarif and US Secretary of State John Kerry are working on new possible proposals aimed at facilitating a final deal”.
The Iranian Foreign Ministry, contrary to the inside information from Vienna, claimed that the impetus had come from Tehran: “No new plans have been offered by the member states of the P5+1 group.”
Kerry’s spokesperson Jen Psaki said the Secretary of State would remain “in order to continue consultations” with Zarif: “We have not yet determined when we will depart, but will stay in Vienna overnight.”
By EA WorldView
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