Iran: nuclear deal must include end of all sanctions
Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammad Javad Zarif. (AFP/File)
Click here to add American Israel Public Affairs Committee as an alert
Disable alert for American Israel Public Aff ...,
Click here to add Benjamin Netanyahu as an alert
Disable alert for Benjamin Netanyahu,
Click here to add Congress as an alert
Disable alert for Congress,
Click here to add Geneva as an alert
Disable alert for Geneva,
Click here to add John Kerry as an alert
Disable alert for John Kerry,
Click here to add Montreux as an alert
Disable alert for Montreux,
Click here to add Nuclear as an alert
Disable alert for Nuclear,
Click here to add Obama administration as an alert
Disable alert for Obama administration,
Click here to add Tehran as an alert
Disable alert for Tehran,
Click here to add Washington as an alert
Disable alert for Washington
Reaching a comprehensive agreement on Iran's nuclear program will require the swift end of all sanctions against the country, Tehran's diplomats said on Monday ahead of an intensive round of negotiations with world powers on the matter in Switzerland.
"If they want an agreement, sanctions must go," Zarif said, "We believe all sanctions must be lifted."
Zarif's comments suggest a deal is not quite imminent, although the P5+1— comprised of the United States, United Kingdom, France, Russia, China and Germany— have already presented Iran with a proposal that would limit the program for a finite period, allowing Tehran to retain a peaceful nuclear power program and a substantial amount of its nuclear infrastructure.
"You can't bomb knowledge into oblivion unless you kill everybody," US Secretary of State John Kerry said, also speaking to reporters from Geneva ahead of a summit with Zarif in the lakeside town of Montreux. "You can't bomb it away."
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has begun airing his criticisms of the proposal in public, starting with a twenty minute speech in Washington to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee on Monday in preview of a highly-anticipated speech to a joint session of Congress set for Tuesday.
Netanyahu opposes allowing Iran to retain infrastructure for nuclear work unnecessary for the production of peaceful energy, he says. The premier is also staunchly opposed to any sunset clause in the deal which would ultimately, upon its end, normalize Iran as a member of the Nuclear-Non-Proliferation Treaty.
Negotiators have not publicly discussed how a deal would address research and development within the nuclear program.
The Obama administration fears Netanyahu will reveal previously undisclosed provisions of the deal in his speech to Congress, as suggested by some Israeli officials over the weekend.
"We are concerned by reports that suggest selective details of the ongoing negotiations will be discussed publicly in the coming days," Kerry said. "Doing so would make it more difficult to reach the goal that Israel and others say they share in order to get to a good deal."
"Israel's security is absolutely at the forefront of all of our minds," he continued, "but frankly, so is the security of all of the other countries in the region. So is our security."
Kerry said that the negotiations still have a "long way to go," noting that the "clock is ticking" for Iran to prove its will.
"We're going to find out whether or not Iran is willing to make the hard choices that are necessary," he said.
- Iran, world powers disagree on all main elements of nuclear deal: diplomats
- Netanyahu: Any final Iran deal must include recognition of Israel’s right to exist
- Iran enthusiastic about nuclear deal, ending sanctions
- Russia: chance for nuclear deal that would Lift Iran sanctions
- US: We want non-binding Iran nuclear deal