The Strategist

Iran & the Big Six Negotiations: Patience Wears Thin

07/10/2015 - 17:45

Journalists, covering the negotiations of Iran and the Big Six, which are conducted in Vienna at the highest level for two weeks, demolished a metal detector.

U.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of State
The construction could not stand the onslaught of the press, pouring from a huge white tent where the media work, on the street, hoping to learn the details of the discussions from the Foreign Minister of Iran Javad Zarif. Operators on duty at the approaches to the hotel ‘Coburg’, gave to the journalists a beck that Zarif appeared on the balcony of the third floor of the hotel.

The Iranian minister periodically comes to the balcony to breathe the air, simultaneously welcoming the correspondents that are standing underneath, waving their hands and bawling questions in different languages. He, in particular, said that the journalists (who have already spent the morning waiting for news about the date of completion) will have to stay in Vienna also for Saturday and Sunday.

The Big Six (the US, Russia, Britain, France, China and Germany) and Iran on July 10, after the expiration of the deadline (was scheduled for Friday), started a new day of talks to reach an agreement on Tehran's nuclear program. Contacts are made to find a solution in which UN Security Council’s sanctions would be lifted from Iran.

US Secretary of State John Kerry met with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and the head of European diplomacy, Catherine Ashton on Friday morning, in the Vienna hotel where the negotiations are held.

Speaking from the balcony of the hotel, Zarif said that the negotiations are making progress. However, answering a question about whether he will stay in the Austrian capital for the weekend, the minister said ‘Looks like it’.

- We have no deadline. I want to achieve a good agreement, - said Zarif to the crowd of journalists gathered around.

The participants have begun to show signs of irritation since the beginning of the second week of negotiations. According to Iranian media, in the evening of Thursday Zarif made an angry remarks against "several countries" which, according to him, are changing their position on the track and putting forward "excessive demands".

Earlier Thursday, Kerry warned that if the difficult decisions are not taken in the near future, his negotiators are ready to "complete the process."

- If we are be able to reach an agreement in the end, then it should be an agreement that can stand the test of time. And we are not talking about days, weeks or months, but for decades. That is our goal, - said Kerry.

Previously, the parties have set themselves the task to conclude an agreement by Thursday evening, having missed the last two deadlines. This time, however, the time plays a more significant role, because now any agreement would have to pass a longer consideration in the US Congress, which is skeptical about the idea of an agreement with Iran.

The White House on Thursday spoke in the same vein as the Kerry, saying that President Obama will withdraw the US delegation in Vienna, if he considers that the negotiations are not constructive.

- Since we have very clearly outlined our expectations for the final agreement, it is unlikely that negotiations will stretch for many more weeks. But again, I would not speculate about the outcome of the negotiations, - said the White House’s spokesman Josh Ernest.


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