Iran nuclear talks hit speed bumps


The head of the atomic energy organization of Iran (AEOI), Ali Akbar Salehi (R) & The US energy secretary Ernest Moniz discuss the technical details of Iran’s nuclear program in the Swiss city of Montreux on March 3, 2015.

Washington (CNN)The United States and the five world powers negotiating with Iran to curb its nuclear program are getting closer to brokering a deal, but there might not be enough time to bridge some significant differences with less than a month until a first deadline.

Iran and its negotiating counterparts are close to an agreement on reining in Iran’s nuclear program to achieve a one-year breakout, but the two sides made little progress in the latest round of negotiations on reaching a consensus on Iran’s nuclear research program and the lifting of sanctions, according to a source knowledgeable of the talks.

Iran is also pushing for all United Nations Security Council resolutions to be lifted immediately following a deal, the source said. American negotiators are willing to lift punitive U.N. Resolutions on Iran, but not those related to nuclear proliferation.

Iran is also reluctant to give up its development of more advanced centrifuges, the source said.

Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif are both in Geneva for this latest round of talks.

Negotiators must broker an initial agreement by the end of the month and pressure is ramping up in the United States as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Congress that the Obama administration is brokering a “bad deal.”

The negotiating parties are close to an agreement on cutting down Iran’s nuclear infrastructure to hold Iran to a one-year breakout time. That would ensure Iran would not be able to produce a nuclear weapon in under a year by reducing the number of centrifuges in operation and the processing of its uranium stockpiles.