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US says ‘very hard’ to clinch deal with Iran as N-talks resume

If this (Nuclear talks) were easy to do,it would have been done a long time ago,a US official said.

Written by PTI | Washington |
November 21, 2013 3:42:19 pm

Amidst the resumption of nuclear talks between Iran and world powers in Geneva,the US has acknowledged that it would be “very hard” to clinch a deal on Tehran’s controversial atomic programme.

“It is hard. It is very hard,” a senior Obama administration official said in Geneva as the latest round of P5+1 talks kicked off with Iran.

“If this were easy to do,it would have been done a long time ago. This is difficult. This is tough. There is a lot at stake for every country in the room. The strongest thing that the P5+1 has had throughout this process is tremendous unity of purpose. That unity remains,” another US official said.

“There was a need for everyone to go back and consult in capitals,but an agreement that we should get back together quite quickly,which we have. Ten days in diplo-speak is a pretty quick timetable to get everybody’s schedule lined up to come back,” the official said on condition of anonymity.

Describing the atmosphere as positive,the official said the focus is on the nuclear talks to try to reach that first agreement,the general outlines of a comprehensive agreement,and to take this first difficult step to a period of time where we can negotiate a comprehensive agreement.

“As Secretary (of State,John) Kerry said recently,we are not in a rush to just get any deal done. We want to make sure that we’ve taken the time to ensure that this is a good deal,the right deal,and takes us a step towards a comprehensive agreement that ensures the international community that Iran’s program is entirely peaceful and that Iran will not acquire a nuclear weapon,” the official said.

“The issue is very important,as you all know. The details are very complicated. And so we are working to get this first step to put time on the clock to negotiate a comprehensive agreement. Time is not unlimited,but we think we are making very good progress and people have arrived back here with a commitment to do the hard work necessary to try to reach our common objective,” the official said.

Meanwhile,Vice President Joe Biden hosted a meeting at the White House with a group of Democratic Senators to discuss Iran. The meeting,joined by his national security team,lasted approximately two hours.

“The Vice President emphasised that the goal of the ongoing diplomatic negotiations between the P5+1 and Iran is to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. The current P5+1 proposal would halt the progress of Iran’s nuclear program and roll it back in key respects,providing the first meaningful limits that Iran has accepted on its nuclear program in nearly a decade,” a red out of the meeting said.

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