US, France Say Iran Can Have Nuclear Program, Not Bomb
The secretary of state said the U.S. and France share a common goal as they take part in negotiations to resolve Iran’s nuclear crisis before a November 24 deadline.
“We are hand-in-hand linked in this effort and we will work extremely close together in the next weeks to try to find a successful path," Kerry said.
On Sunday, Kerry, Iran’s foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, and EU representative Catherine Ashton will try to make headway on Iran’s nuclear status during talks in Oman.
Iran insists on its right to enrich uranium. Western powers have voiced concern that Iran wants to produce nuclear weapons.
Kerry says a unified P5 + 1 grouping - the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council and Germany - has presented Iran with “creative ideas” to help achieve its objectives.
“Now we will see if Iran is able to match the public words that they are prepared to prove to the world that they have a peaceful program, to match those words with the tough and courageous decisions that need to be made by all of us," Kerry said. "The time is now to make those decisions.”
“What are they trying to hide or what are they trying to disguise? They’re trying to disguise a commitment to a nuclear program that they’ve not given up and that they’re not going to give up," Ereli said.
Brookings Institution Middle East analyst Riccardo Alcaro says Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani may have difficulties “selling” a final nuclear deal to his domestic audience, if it appears Tehran has made concessions to the West.
But, he says there are several reasons why an agreement would be in Iran’s best interests.
“It would give Iran the chance to be reintegrated into the international community," Alcaro said. "It would give a boost to its economy which has been severely damaged by the sanctions.”
He says it would also help Rouhani’s government in terms of its international reputation and credibility.