There has been a cool reaction in Tehran to news that the talks ended without a deal.
“Tired but hopeful” read the headline on some Iranian papers with many pointing the finger of blame at the French for the failure.
The sides seemed on the verge of a breakthrough – before cracks materialised among U.S. and European allies as France declined to endorse the proposal under discussion, believing it did not adequately neutralise the risk of an Iranian atom bomb.
But some believe Israel had secret influence:
“All of them (P5+1 foreign ministers) suddenly and hurriedly went to Geneva. Certainly they had a behind-the-curtain deal with Israel or maybe Israel urged them to go quickly to Geneva. I think Israel felt that something was about to happen that could be to its detriment,” said Kamali (no first name given), a Tehran resident.
Iran denies trying to develop atomic bomb capability saying it needs nuclear power to generate electricity.
Western diplomats say the main stumbling blocks to a deal included the status of Iran’s Arak heavy-water reactor of potential use in making bomb-grade plutonium,