Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif met today for “high-level talks” in New York City, aimed primarily at discussing their mutual wars on ISIS in Iraq and Syria. They also addressed ongoing P5+1 nuclear talks with Iran.
Kerry discussed the importance of “coalition building” for the ISIS war with Zarif, though he has repeatedly ruled out allowing Iran to participate in the coalition, because Iran doesn’t get along well with the Saudis and some other GCC member nations in the coalition.
Iranian officials familiar with the situation say that the primary focus of the talks was their willingness to cooperate in the war on ISIS, and their desire to see “more flexibility” out of the US on the nuclear talks.
The most recent US proposal on the nuclear settlement is meeting with surprising support from Iran. Under the plan, Iran would be allowed to keep its centrifuges but would give up the aluminum pipes that attach to them to make them operational.
Iran appears to believe that such a deal, which would allow them to quickly get the enrichment program up and running again if foreign supplies of uranium for their power plant dry up, is worth considering if it means an end to US-imposed economic sanctions.