Iran presents ‘timetable’ to end nuclear talks deadlock

The Guardian reports: The Iranian delegation to international talks in Geneva has presented proposals which it claims will end the longstanding deadlock over its nuclear programme.

Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, gave an hour-long PowerPoint presentation of the proposals, entitled “Closing an unnecessary crisis: Opening new horizons”, to senior diplomats from the US, UK, France, Germany, Russia, and China at the Palace of Nations in Geneva on Tuesday.

The presentation was not made public, but it is believed to lay out a timetable for a confidence-building deal that would place limits on Iran’s nuclear programme in return for relief from sanctions and international recognition of the country’s right to enrich uranium.

The presentation marked the opening gambit in the first round of negotiations between the new Iranian government of President Hassan Rouhani and the six-nation negotiating group chaired by the EU foreign policy chief, Lady Ashton. All sides have described the talks as the most constructive for years.

Unlike previous negotiations, the two days of talks are being carried out in English, as Zarif and his deputy, Abbas Araqchi, are fluent, so they moved at at least twice the speed, without the need for interpreters.

Speaking to reporters after the presentation, Araqchi said: “We believe our proposal has the capacity to make a breakthrough.”

He said the Iranian plan set out a timeline of six months to get to a deal and that Iran hoped the next step, a new round of talks on the details of a deal, would take place within a month. [Continue reading…]

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