Amid Push for Iran Nuclear Deal, Two Sides Maneuver to Shift Blame


iranian-foreign-minister-javad-zarifSix world powers and Iran began a three-week push Wednesday to complete a deal aimed at stopping Tehran from building a nuclear bomb, but they also started positioning themselves to deflect blame if negotiations collapse. With the talks in Vienna gridlocked since mid-May, senior Iranian and U.S. officials have stepped up claims that they made every effort to reach a compromise while the other side pressed unrealistic demands that made an agreement impossible.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif put out a YouTube video Wednesday in which he said the West pursued “a game of chicken in an attempt to extract last-minute concessions.” Previous Western pressure “didn’t bring the Iranian people to kneel in submission, and it will not now.”

The negotiators have been unable to close three major gaps: the number of centrifuges Iran will be permitted to operate to enrich uranium; the duration of the agreement; and the schedule for lifting the sanctions. Iranian officials insist they will not disable key parts of their $100-billion nuclear infrastructure.

{Andy Newscenter}