There is no room for illusions, but "an agreement on the nuclear program" is still possible, despite the inconclusive results of the last round of negotiations in Vienna between Teheran and the 5+1 group (United States, Russia, China, United Kingdom, France and Germany). The Iranian Foreign Minister made the announcement via Twitter.
There is talk of further meetings scheduled for next month to try and meet the deadline that was set in January: six months to write at least a draft of an agreement (in the meantime loosening international sanctions against Iran).
Teheran insists: it can be done, as long as Iran's 'rights' are respected.
Abbas Araghchi, deputy of Zarif and head of the Iranian delegation, explained that the differences between the various parties were too big in Vienna, but he ruled out that negotiations have reached a dead end or, worse, that they have failed; he suggested instead that they could extend the negotiation process by 180 days.
The round of negotiations in Vienna was nevertheless useful for Russia. "Useful but difficult," the United States points out. However, a leading official of the Obama administration, after repeating that Washington wants to see progress and see it fast, let slip that he believed that, as a matter of fact, an agreement is possible and that there will "probably" be many high-level contacts in the next few months, and not only in Vienna.
This statement needs to be deciphered, but it is prudent, as maybe it should be at this phase. Especially if one considers what WikiLao is able to reveal: under the auspices of sultan Qabus bin Said al Said, and with full support of the Iranian leadership, "very confidential" parallel negotiations are taking place in Muscat, the capital of Oman. "High officials" from the United States are thought to be attending the negotiations. Among the few who know about the progress of these secret negotiations, there are some who guarantee that even as they reaffirm their right to develop nuclear energy for civilian purposes, Teheran's envoys are determined to reach the conditions for an agreement.
May 17, 2014