Iran Nuclear Deal Close, Talks Extend Into Saturday

All But One P5+1 Foreign Ministers Head to Geneva to Join Talks

by Jason Ditz, November 08, 2013

Hopes for a nuclear deal emerging from the P5+1 talks with Iran in Geneva continue to grow tonight, with reports that the talks, which are extended into Saturday, will include 5 of the 6 P5+1 foreign ministers, as well as Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif.

The only minister not expected to attend is China’s Wang Yi. China is sending their deputy Foreign Minister in his place, according to Western diplomats quoted in the media.

There had been hopes for a deal made today, but the complexity of the matter made it clear another day was needed. Still, all those foreign ministers, along with EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, presupposes that the talks are close to a breakthrough.

An interim deal is said to include Iran paring back parts of its nuclear program for six months in return for some sanction easing, though exactly how much remains to be seen.

Any such deal is going to face stark opposition from Israel, which has condemned the idea of deal and continues to push for more sanctions. As goes Israel, so goes it’s powerful lobby, and by extension much of the US Congress, so keeping the deal at least a little palatable to the hawks without being watered down to meaninglessness is going to be a challenge.

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