US, Iran Remain Split on Key Nuclear Issues

France: Urgent to reach deal this week

The Iran nuclear talks in Vienna enter a new and crucial week, with signs that a deal is near, but that differences between the US and Iran remain at least in part unresolved, causing frustration.

The two big questions are sanctions relief, i.e. exactly how much the US will have to deliver of the promised 2015 sanctions relief, and Iran wanting a guarantee that the US won’t renege on the deal again like they did last time.

Since the US administration that reached the Iran deal was not the same as the one that dishonored it, it isn’t clear how the current US government can guarantee that they won’t get replaced by another opponent of the deal down the road. That makes guarantees tough to make at all.

Iran has rejected the idea of a deadline for a deal to be reached, saying it will take how long it takes. French officials, however, said it was urgent to conclude the talks this week and finalize things.

It’s not clear why France feels this rush, but US officials keep saying there is a deadline, without elaborating, so they may know something we don’t.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of