Iran blames Western powers for nuclear talks failure

Iran’s foreign minister has blamed divisions between Western powers for the failure to agree a deal on its nuclear programme on Saturday.

Mohammad Javad Zarif rejected US Secretary of State John Kerry’s claim that Iran had been unable to accept the deal “at that particular moment”.

He said “no amount of spinning” could change what had happened in Geneva, but it could “further erode confidence”.

Mr Zarif appeared to blame France for “gutting over half” of a US draft deal.

Representatives from Iran and the so-called P5+1 – the US, UK, France, Russia and China plus Germany – will meet again on 20 November.

Iran stresses that its nuclear programme is for peaceful purposes only, but world powers suspect it is seeking to develop nuclear weapons.

‘Not Iran’s fault’

Some reports said the latest talks failed because France had wanted to place tight restrictions on the heavy-water reactor being built at Arak; others that the Iranian government’s insistence on formal recognition of its “right” to enrich uranium had been the major obstacle.

During a visit to Abu Dhabi on Monday morning, Mr Kerry told reporters that the P5+1 had been “unified on Saturday when we presented our proposal to the Iranians”.

“The French signed off on it, we signed off on it, and everybody agreed it was a fair proposal,” he added. “Iran couldn’t take it at that particular moment.”

Later, Mr Zarif responded to the claim on Twitter.

“No amount of spinning can change what happened within 5+1 in Geneva from 6pm Thursday to 5:45pm Saturday. But it can further erode confidence,” he wrote.

“Mr Secretary, was it Iran that gutted over half of US draft Thursday night? And publicly commented against it Friday morning?”

Mr Zarif appeared to be referring to French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, who on Friday morning cautioned in a statement that his country wanted a “credible agreement”.

At the end of the day’s talks, Mr Fabius told France Inter radio that Paris could not accept a “fool’s game”.


BBC has the full article

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