John Kerry’s participation in talks on Iran’s nuclear programme is fuelling speculation of a breakthrough.
The US Secretary of State was warmly welcomed in Israel ahead of the Geneva talks, but the mooted details of an imminent deal were not.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave a scathing assessment of the reported agreement: “Iran got the deal of the century and the international community got a bad deal. This is a very bad deal and Israel utterly rejects it and what I am saying is shared by many, many in the region, whether or not they express that publicly.”
PM prior to meeting w/Kerry: Kerry said no deal is better than a bad deal. This is a bad deal. I urge him not to rush to sign the bad deal.— Benjamin Netanyahu (@netanyahu) November 8, 2013
Iran and world powers are working on deal that would see a partial suspension of sanctions against the Islamic Republic for a limited period. In return Tehran would have to prove it had limited its nuclear programme.
The West fears Iran is trying to develop atomic weapons. The Iranian leadership has said producing nuclear energy is its only goal.
The euronews correspondent at the Geneva meeting, Fariba Mavaddat, said: “The growing presence of senior figures has increased the momentum at the talks, and with it the pressure on both sides to reach what could be an historic deal after years of dispute.”
The senior figures include Britain’s Foreign Secretary William Hague, German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle and French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius.
“We want a deal that bring a solid first response to worries linked to Iran’s nuclear (programme),” Fabius said on arrival in Geneva according to a foreign ministry statement. “There is progress, but nothing is concluded yet.”