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Kerry Reports ‘Genuine Progress’ in Iran Nuclear Talks, But French Are Unhappy

France has been demanding tougher restrictions on the Iranians

Laurent Fabius

Secretary of State John Kerry on Saturday reported “genuine progress” in the talks between the P5+1 group—the U.S., U.K., France, Germany, Russia and China—and Iran, expecting the latter to be making hard decisions to curb its nuclear program, following week-long negotiations in Lausanne, Switzerland.

But French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius has expressed his grave concerns with the negotiations so far.

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According to state news agency IRNA, President Hassan Rouhani said there was “nothing that cannot be resolved” by the end of June, the final deadline imposed on the negotiations.

“In this round of talks, shared points of view emerged in some of the areas where there had been a difference of opinion, which can be a foundation for a final agreement, ” Rouhani said.

Kerry will meet his European counterparts in London, to work on removing the last obstacles. He said talks with Iran would resume next week.

“We have not yet reached the finish line but make no mistake we have the opportunity to try to get this right, ” Kerry said. “It is a matter of political will and tough decision making.”

“The stakes are high and the issues are complicated, highly technical, and all inter-related, ” Kerry added.

France has been demanding tougher restrictions on the Iranians, and at one point during the talks Fabius called his team on the phone to make sure they made no more concessions, according to officials.

“If the accord is not sufficiently solid then regional countries would say it’s not serious enough, so we are also going to get the nuclear weapon, and that would lead to an extremely dangerous nuclear proliferation, ” Fabius said.



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