Iran demands relief on sanctions as nuclear talks resume

Iran and the other countries in the nuclear talks – China, France, Russia, Britain, the United States, and Germany – reached a tentative deal on April 2 and now aim to finalize the details by an end of June deadline.

Ronald Zak/AP
Journalists wait in front of a luxury downtown hotel, where closed-door nuclear talks with Iran take place, in Vienna, Austria, Wednesday, April 22, 2015. Negotiators are meeting in attempts to reach a deal that curbs Iran's nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.

The timing of sanctions relief is the main sticking point in nuclear talks that resumed on Wednesday with a meeting between delegates from Iran and the European Union.

Arriving in Vienna, Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi reiterated Iran's position: "All the economic sanctions should be lifted on the day that the deal is implemented," Iranian news agency Tasnim reported.

The United States says the sanctions, imposed on Iran by countries concerned that its nuclear program could be aimed at weapons development, would have to be phased out gradually.

Referring to concerns that the U.S. Congress might try to delay lifting sanctions, Araqchi told state television that President Barack Obama's administration was "responsible to ensure that its commitments, particularly sanctions-related ones, are fulfilled."

Iran and the other countries in the talks -- China, France, Russia, Britain, the United States and Germany -- reached a tentative deal on April 2 and now aim to finalize the details by self-imposed end-June deadline.

"We think it is possible to reach a fair and just agreement ... by the end of June or even before that," Araqchi said. Iran says its nuclear program is entirely peaceful and accuses the West of using the issue as an excuse to hurt the Islamic Republic.

Tehran's commitments on technical nuclear issues under any final deal would be monitored by the International Atomic Energy Agency, a body that Iran's envoy to the Vienna-based agency said Tehran trusted to do the job, Iran's Press TV reported.

Talks between Araqchi and EU political director Helga Schmid are due to continue into Wednesday evening and through Thursday. Delegates from the six powers, including U.S. Under Secretary Wendy Sherman, are expected to join the talks on Friday, according to Iran's Fars news agency.

Iran's foreign ministry spokeswoman, Marzieh Afkham, told Iranian television on Wednesday that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif "discussed Iran's nuclear issue by phone last night."

Zarif was quoted by Iranian media as saying he would meet Kerry on Monday in New York on the sidelines of a nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty review conference at the United Nations.

(Additional reporting by Parisa Hafezi in Ankara and Adrian Croft in Brussels; Editing by Louise Ireland and Robin Pomeroy)

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.

QR Code to Iran demands relief on sanctions as nuclear talks resume
Read this article in
https://www.csmonitor.com/World/2015/0422/Iran-demands-relief-on-sanctions-as-nuclear-talks-resume
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today
https://www.csmonitor.com/subscribe