Iran, six powers may be nearing a nuclear deal

Iran, six powers may be nearing a nuclear deal
# 23 November 2013 02:14 (UTC +04:00)

Baku-APA. Iran and six world powers appeared closer on Friday towards clinching an elusive interim deal under which Tehran would curb its contested nuclear program, with diplomats saying a major sticking point may have been overcome, APA reports quoting Reuters.

A compromise deal over Iran's insistence that its "right" to enrich uranium be internationally recognized has been proposed, they said, possibly opening the way to a breakthrough in intensive negotiations that began in Geneva on Wednesday.

The United States and other Western powers say there is no such thing as a right to enrich - a process that can yield both electricity and nuclear bombs - but Iran views it as a matter of national sovereignty and crucial to any deal that would resolve a decade-old standoff over its nuclear intentions.

The Islamic Republic also wants relief from economic sanctions in return for any nuclear concessions that could allay the West's suspicions that its nuclear fuel-making program has military rather than its stated civilian goals.

In another sign the sides could be edging towards an agreement, Western diplomats said U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry was tentatively planning to join the high-stakes talks in Switzerland although he had yet to confirm his plans.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov arrived in Geneva on Friday evening and planned to participate, spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said. "I can confirm that we are staying Friday and Saturday. That is the plan," she told reporters. Zakharova did not rule out Lavrov staying even longer.

Foreign ministers from the six nations negotiating with Iran - the United States, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany - waded into the previous talks on November 7-9 and came close to winning concessions from Iran which they count on to reduce the risk of Iran honing a nuclear weapons capability.

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