No Deal Yet, But Significant Progress in Iran Talks

Negotiators Praise Iran's Offer as Important Contribution

by Jason Ditz, October 16, 2013

Two-day talks between Iran and the P5+1 ended today in Geneva, with a next round of talks scheduled for November 7-8. Unlike the past meetings without agreement, where both sides agreed to simply punt the talks down the road, these talks appear to have yielded substantial progress.

The European Union was quick to praise Iran’s offer, saying they were an “important contribution,” and even US officials conceded they’d never had such intense, detailed conversations with Iran on the nation’s civilian nuclear program before.

The specifics of Iran’s offer have not been made public yet, but Iran has been reported to have offered significant limitations to the scope of its civilian enrichment program, and to offer additional inspections above and beyond those required by their IAEA safeguards agreement.

That last part seems huge, with reports that they will offer “snap visits” to Iran’s nuclear sites as part of the deal, and even before the November meetings, the P5+1 is planning to have a side-meeting with Iran just to flesh out the details of the inspections.

Iranian officials had expressed hope going into this conference that a final settlement could be reached within six months, and while it is of course too soon to say if that’s going to happen, for the first time in years of negotiations, it seems a possibility.

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