EU Foreign Policy Chief: Deal with Iran is ‘At Hand’

February 25, 2015  

The European Union’s foreign policy chief on Tuesday said that an Iran nuclear deal was “at hand”, AFP reported.

“We cannot miss this opportunity,” Federica Mogherini said at Chatham House, a think tank in London, urging different sides to show political will ahead of a new round of talks scheduled in Geneva next week.

“A good deal is at hand if the parties will keep cooperating as they did so far and if we have enough political will from all sides to agree on a good deal and sell it domestically,” she added.

“We have a series of internal domestic political dynamics we have to handle with care,” she said, listing “tensions” in the United States Congress, Israel’s elections and Sunni-Shiite rivalry in the Gulf region.

“A comprehensive agreement would be mutually beneficial for all sides,” claimed Mogherini.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry earlier on Tuesday said world powers “had made inroads” since reaching an interim deal with Iran in November 2013 on reining in its suspect nuclear program.

“We expect to know soon whether or not Iran is willing to put together an acceptable, verifiable plan,” Kerry said after returning from talks in Geneva with his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif.

After the two met on Monday, a United States official said that some progress was made but added much work still needed to be done.

Iran and six world powers reached an interim deal in November of 2013, under which Iran committed to limit its uranium enrichment to five percent and is gradually winning access to $4.2 billion of its oil revenues frozen abroad and some other sanctions relief.

The talks were supposed to continue in order to turn the interim deal into a permanent one. However, the talks have stalled and two deadlines for a final deal have been missed, with a third one looming on July 1.

Meanwhile on Tuesday, Kerry issued a veiled jab at Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, saying that those voicing their opposition to deal being negotiated with Iran over its nuclear program are “uninformed.”

His comments followed a statement by Netanyahu earlier today in which the prime minister said information he’d received showed a looming deal between Iran and world powers would allow the Islamic Republic to reach the nuclear threshold.

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