Iran: Direct US Talks Essential for Nuclear Deal

Meetings Key to Bridging Gaps on Final Pact

Iranian officials are praising the recent direct talks with the United States on the sidelines of P5+1 nuclear negotiations, saying they were the key to bridging the significant gaps remaining on the final pact.

Efforts to carve out a final nuclear settlement by mid-July have hit several stumbling blocks, mostly surrounding Iran’s civilian uranium enrichment program and efforts to fuel their Russian built nuclear power plant at Bushehr.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has confirmed Iran has sharply reduced its 20 percent enriched nuclear stockpile and will likely use the last of it soon, as their enrichment sites are only going at the 3.5 percent level needed for Bushehr now.

Iran’s existing enrichment facilities are much too small to fully fuel Bushehr, and they have a contract with Russia to sell them fuel for the next decade. Past sanctions have Iran jumpy about the reliability of any overseas suppliers, however, and they are keen to have at least the capability of self-sufficiency.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.