Iran nuclear talks paving the way for a final deal
Iranian and European negotiators have found solutions to "all" their disagreements over how to implement the Geneva nuclear deal, Iran's deputy chief negotiator has said, in a move that could pave the way for a final deal to contain Tehran's nuclear programme.
"We found solutions for all the points of disagreements," Abbas Araqchi told Iranian state television at the end of two days of talks in Geneva, which he described as "good, constructive and intense".
An EU spokesman said "very good" progress was made "on all the pertinent issues", but added that results of the talks -- involving Mr Araqchi and Helga Schmid, deputy to Baroness Ashton, the EU foreign policy chief -- still had to be validated by more senior officials.
US State Department spokesman Jen Psaki said technical talks were making good progress but reports that a deal had been finalised were inaccurate. Any agreement needs to be signed off by Britain, China, France, Russia, the US and Germany.
And fears among sceptics that Iran was outflanking the world powers deepened yesterday with a report from Reuters that Iran and Russia were broking an oil-for-goods swap worth $1.5bn (€1.1bn) a month that would let Iran lift oil exports substantially, in defiance of sanctions.
The report, if confirmed, would undermine US and UK claims that the sanctions relief granted to Iran was "limited and targeted", and could see Russia unilaterally draining negotiating leverage from the US and the EU. (© Daily Telegraph, London)