Talks resume: A week to deadline _ or extension
VIENNA (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry urged Iran to prove its intentions are peaceful as nuclear talks between Tehran and six world powers reconvened Tuesday ahead of a Nov. 24 deadline. Iran struck a more combative tone, warning that the other side’s “greediness” could scuttle the negotiations.
With less than a week to go before the target date, both sides are eager to avoid extending the talks — a move that would be met by substantial opposition by congressional sceptics in Washington and hardliners in Tehran. But they may have no choice, because significant differences remain.
At a meeting with British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond, Kerry said the U.S. hopes “we can get there, but we can’t make any prediction.” He challenged Tehran to “work with us in all possible efforts to prove to the world the (Iranian nuclear) program is peaceful.”
Hammond said Iran needed to show “more flexibility.”
But Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said it was up to the West to muster “the political will to reach a solution,” warning the talks could fail due to the other side’s “greediness” — shorthand for demands his country is unwilling to accept.
The talks group Iran around the negotiating table with the U.S., Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany. They resumed with EU official Catherine Ashton, who coordinates the meetings, conferring with Zarif with a full session planned for later.
The six want Iran to curb uranium enrichment and other nuclear projects that could be used for making atomic arms. In exchange, they offer an end to sanctions on the Islamic Republic. Tehran insists it does not want such weapons and is resisting both strict constraints and demands that they be in place for a decade or more.
Associated Press Diplomatic Writer Matthew Lee in London and AP video journalist Mohamad Nasiri in Tehran contributed.