Iran wants sanctions lifted as part of nuclear deal

Iran wants all Western sanctions to be lifted as part of a deal on its contested nuclear programme by a November deadline, a top official said on Wednesday.

By (AFP)

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Published: Thu 30 Oct 2014, 9:54 PM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 5:44 AM

The announcement came amid intensifying efforts to conclude a definitive pact. The six powers in the talks with Iran — Britain, China, France, Russia, the United States plus Germany, known as the P5+1 — have set November 24 as the deadline.

The chairman of the Iranian parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Alaeddin Boroujerdi said the US proposal of a gradual lifting of sanctions was “unacceptable.”

“If we want a definitive accord on November 24, there must be an immediate lifting of sanctions,” he told a news conference in Paris.

A Western diplomat close to the negotiations with Iran on Monday said a firm deal by the deadline was highly unlikely, saying Tehran would have to make “significant gestures.”

The aim is to close avenues towards Tehran ever developing an atomic bomb, by cutting back its enrichment programme, shutting down suspect facilities and imposing tough international inspections.

In return, the global community would suspend and then gradually lift crippling economic sanctions imposed on the Islamic republic.

But the two sides, despite long-running talks, remain far apart on how to reconcile their objectives.

US Secretary of State John Kerry said on Thursday the world will know in the coming weeks if Iran can make the “tough decisions” needed for a nuclear deal.

As the clock ticks down to a November 24 deadline for an agreement on reining in Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief, Kerry vowed that global powers were going to be “very careful, everything will be based on expert advice.”

“Whether Iran can make the tough decisions that it needs to make will be determined in the next weeks,” Kerry told a forum hosted by The Atlantic magazine.

He refused to give any odds on whether the “critical” deal would be reached, but he warned that any pact must be based on fact and science.

“This must not become an ideological, political decision,” Kerry said.

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