There is cautious optimism that a deal can be reached during Wednesday’s resumption of talks in Geneva over Iran’s nuclear programme.
Foreign Minister Mohamed Javad Zarif is leading Iran’s negotiating team with the six world powers towards an initial accord. It would mean his country curbing its nuclear activity in exchange for limited relief from sanctions.
“Even if we succeed this will be the beginning of a very difficult process and always we need to be cautious in dealing with this. So if there’s one area that I can agree on with Americans, I can agree on that word of caution,” said Javad Zarif.
In a move to appease Israeli demands that sanctions should not be lifted at all while Tehran can still enrich uranium, US President Barack Obama downplayed the impact the lifting of limited sanctions would have.
The issue came up during an interview with US business leaders in Washington.
“My hope and expectation is not that we’re going to solve all of this just this week in this interim phase, but rather than we are purchasing ourselves some time to see how serious the Iranian regime might be in re-entering membership in the world community and taking the yoke of these sanctions off the backs of their economy,” said President Obama.
Iran is maintaining its right to produce nuclear fuel for peaceful purposes, while the West believes it is really aiming to develop atomic weapon technology.
However in another sign of a thaw in relations, David Cameron telephoned Hassan Rohani – the first time a British prime minister has called an Iranian president in a decade.