As New Iran Talks Start, a Focus on the Details of the Final Pact

US Warns Talks Will Be 'Pretty Tough'

EU and Iranian negotiators arrived today in Vienna to kick of the latest round of nuclear negotiations aimed at getting a final nuclear agreement done by the end of the month, with the members of the P5+1 sending their various negotiators to the site later this week.

While most of the broad strokes long since finalized, the focus now is on the minutiae of the pact, which US officials warn is going to be “pretty tough,” as they try to wring every last concession possible out of Iran for every little aspect of their civilian program.

The big focus is going to be on IAEA inspections in Iran, for while the deal is already prepared to give the IAEA pretty much limitless access to Iran’s actual nuclear sites, there is a lot of disagreement about just how much access the IAEA should get to conventional military sites that have no apparent link to the nuclear program.

The IAEA has been claiming Iran has agreed to give them complete access to these sites as well, something Iran has denied. Expect every site to suddenly become a vital site full of questions whenever Iran seeks some sort of limit to the ever growing IAEA monitoring mission beyond nuclear sites to seemingly anything mentioned in any laptop the MeK handed to some US spy agency.

Most progress in the negotiations has come in direct talks between Secretary of State John Kerry and his Iranian counterpart, however, something that will likely be limited given Kerry’s injury. US officials are still insisting the June 30 deadline is firm, though it is increasingly obvious it won’t be reached.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of