Iranian foreign Minister Javad Zarif discussed this week’s Geneva talks in an interview with France 24, saying there was a lot of distrust on both sides to be overcome, but that the basic framework of a final deal might be reached at the talks.
That would be a huge leap forward, though most analysts say that all the minor details of such a broad agreement could take months to sort out, and Zarif said it wouldn’t be a “disaster” if the breakthrough didn’t come this week.
The big obstacle to the deal remains the US Congress, as while the Rouhani government is willing to make considerable concessions on their nuclear program, they have conditioned them on the easing of sanctions, something the US Congress is being heavily lobbied to oppose.
The stop-gap for this could wind up being the Obama Administration simply unfreezing some of Iran’s long-seized assets, providing an influx of cash the nation desperately needs, and something the Treasury Department could do without Congress. That sort of one-off move would only go so far, however, and sooner or later the sanctions themselves need to be addressed.