Iran sharply di­vided on nuke talks

Hard-liners re­main a stum­bling block

The Washington Times Daily - - World - BY GUY TAY­LOR

wind out of at­tempts by their more mod­er­ate col­leagues to con­vey op­ti­mism ahead of this week’s talks in Geneva be­tween Iran’s nu­clear ne­go­tia­tors and the so­called P5+1 group — con­sist­ing of the U.N. Se­cu­rity Coun­cil’s five per­ma­nent mem­bers — the U.S., Bri­tain, France, China and Rus­sia — plus Ger­many.

At a min­i­mum, Mr. Jaza­y­eri’s state­ments starkly con­trast the nar­ra­tive be­ing pushed out­side by Ira­nian For­eign Min­is­ter Mo­ham­mad Javad Zarif, who has since early last month played a cen­tral role in what many in­ter­na­tional ob­servers de­scribe as a charm of­fen­sive to­ward the West by the more mod­er­ate Rouhani gov­ern­ment.

Mr. Zarif drew at­ten­tion in Paris on Mon­day when told the France 24 tele­vi­sion news net­work that Iran had “come very far” dur­ing the re­cent rounds of nu­clear talks and is “pre­pared” to “make a few more steps” dur­ing the talks that start Thurs­day in Geneva.

“I be­lieve it is pos­si­ble to reach an agree­ment dur­ing this meet­ing,” he said. “But I can only talk for our side, I can­not talk for the other side.”

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