Powers warn Iran ‘now is the time’ for nuclear deal
VIENNA, Austria – Global powers upped the pressure on Iran late Sunday warning now was “the time” to strike an elusive deal curbing its nuclear ambitions, as the US said the fate of the talks hung in the balance.
US Secretary of State John Kerry stressed that after almost two years of negotiations and on the ninth day of these latest talks in Vienna “genuine progress” had been made.
But the top US diplomat said the talks still “could go either way” as he met four times throughout Sunday with his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif.
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius and the EU’s foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini arrived back in the Austrian capital with essentially the same message ahead of Tuesday’s deadline for a comprehensive deal curtailing Iran’s nuclear program.
“All the cards are on the table, the main question is to know whether the Iranians will accept making clear commitments on what until now has not been clarified,” Fabius said.
Kerry stressed that despite progress “we are not yet where we need to be on several of the most difficult issues”.
If all sides were prepared to make hard choices, then “we could get an agreement this week. But if they are not made, we will not,” Kerry warned, adding that if there was “absolute intransigence” the US would walk away.
The global powers — Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States — are trying to pin down a deal putting a nuclear bomb out of Iran’s reach in return for lifting a web of sanctions against the Islamic republic.