Laura Rozen reports: A second day of high level of nuclear talks broke for the night here Thursday with Iranian and western negotiators saying progress was being being made in narrowing gaps, but four or five issues still remain to be resolved and need more time. Talks are set to continue here Friday and are very likely to extend into the weekend.
A day “of intense, substantial and detailed negotiations on Iran nuclear programme, conducted in good atmosphere,” Michael Mann, spokesperson for European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, said Thursday. “Talks continue tomorrow.”
There are fewer and fewer gaps between the two sides, “the process is efficient, we have a very deep treatment” of the issues, a senior European diplomat, speaking not for attribution, said Thursday of the days’ discussions.
“Some big obstacles [to an accord] have been removed, but not all of them,” the European diplomat said. There are still about four to five elements on the table for negotiation, he said, most of them pertaining to the first phase of the agreement, which is intended to halt the expansion of Iran’s nuclear program over the course of six months while a comprehensive agreement is negotiated.
There is “no rupture with the Iranians, but it doesn’t mean agreement tomorrow,” the European diplomat said. “There is a feeling something could happen tomorrow, or after tomorrow,” but there’s no guarantee, he said. If an accord is reached over the next day, P5+1 foreign ministers could possibly come on Saturday. [Continue reading…]
This morning, Reuters reports that Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is already on his way to Geneva.