The nuclear negotiations between Iran and the western power brokers appeared to be achieving something. But when the parties emerged from the final meeting of two days worth of talks, nothing had changed and everything had fallen apart.
Iran spent the last two days negotiating with the P5+1 -- the U.S., Russia, China, the United Kingdom, France, and Germany -- over whether or not the Middle Eastern country has the right to enrich Uranium or not. The outcome originally looked promising. "Expectations that the negotiations were making progress rose as an afternoon session was extended into the evening," the Associated Press writes. But things faltered somewhere along the way.
When everyone finally emerged from the negotiations, it was clear the countries were still a long way from an agreement. "It became clear that our positions remain far apart," European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton told reporters after the "intensive discussions" concluded. The AFP reports Russian deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov told Russian media the two sides couldn't find a "mutual understanding" as to how to proceed. Iran's chief negotiator said the ball was in the west's court and that it was up to them to decide how to move forward. "We proposed our plan of action and the other party was not ready and they asked for some time to study the idea," Saeed Jalili told a room full of reporters after the talks had ended.
The countries were debating whether or not Iran has the right to enrich Uranium to 20 percent, one step short of nuclear weapon territory. U.N. inspectors are also keen to get inside Iran's Parchin nuclear facility, the site they believe could be Iran's nuclear testing facility. It was the chief subject during the last round of failed nuclear negotiations with Iran. This time around, the western powers proposed lifting some of the crippling sanctions in Iran if the they agreed to abandon their nuclear development. It still didn't work. There's currently no timetable in place for when the groups may meet to discuss this again, but there never is.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.