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Fri Jul 18, 2014, 06:55 AM

Zarif and Kerry signal nuclear momentum

http://atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/MID-02-180714.html



Zarif and Kerry signal nuclear momentum
By Gareth Porter
Jul 18, '14

WASHINGTON - As the negotiations on the Iranian nuclear programme approach the July 20 deadline, both US Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif have signaled through their carefully worded statements that they are now moving toward agreement on the two most crucial issues in the talks: the level of Iranian enrichment capability to be allowed and the duration of the agreement.

Their statements after two days of meetings suggest that both Kerry and Zarif now see a basis for an agreement that would freeze Iran's enrichment capacity at somewhere around its present level of 10,000 operational centrifuges for a period of years.

Once the difference between the proposed duration of the two sides has been reduced to a very few years, both sides may well conclude that the difference is not important enough to sacrifice the advantages of reaching agreement.

They also indicated that the two sides have not yet agreed on how many years the agreement would last, but that the bargaining on that question has already begun.

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