Reuters reports: Six world powers and Iran strived at a second day of talks in Vienna on Wednesday to map out a broad agenda for reaching a ambitious final settlement to the decade-old standoff over Tehran’s nuclear program.
The United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany want a long-term agreement on the permissible scope of Iran’s nuclear activities to lay to rest concerns that they could be put to developing atomic bombs. Tehran’s priority is a complete removal of damaging economic sanctions against it.
The negotiations will probably extend at least over several months, and could help defuse years of hostility between energy-exporting Iran and the West, ease the danger of a new war in the Middle East, transform the regional power balance and open up major business opportunities for Western firms.
“The talks are going surprisingly well. There haven’t been any real problems so far,” a senior Western diplomat said, dismissing rumors from the Iranian side that the discussions had run into snags already.
The opening session on Tuesday was “productive” and “substantive”, they said. “The focus was on the parameters and the process of negotiations, the timetable of what is going to be a medium- to long-term process,” one European diplomat said. [Continue reading…]