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No deal reached in talks on Iran’s nuclear program

USA TODAY

Saturday, November 9, 2013

World powers failed to reach an interim deal with Iran over its disputed nuclear program after lengthy talks in Geneva despite days of encouraging signs from the White House that a deal was imminent.

Catherine Ashton, the European Union’s top diplomat, said talks will resume on Nov. 20 in Geneva.

Ashton said there had been, “concrete progress but some differences remain,” BBC reports…

The difficulty of the talks are a sign of how far both Iran’s nuclear program and Western sanctions have progressed and how hard it is to roll them back, said Blaise Misztal, director of the Foreign Policy Project at the Bipartisan Policy Center, who has testified before Congress on Iran’s nuclear program.

Iran has invested so much into increasing the pace, scale and efficiency of its nuclear fuel production program that it can’t change course without losing face, Misztal said.

Western sanctions, spearheaded by legislation put in place by Congress, would be so hard to reinstate once repealed that lawmakers and others are pushing for real Iranian concessions to take place, not just an agreement, before offering such relief, Misztal said.

“It takes years to return sanctions,” Misztal said. “And the (Obama) administration can’t lift sanctions on its own. That requires an act of Congress and there’s not much support for that at this point.”

2013-11-09 00:00:00
USA TODAY

KEYWORDS: BLAISE MISZTAL, CATHERINE ASHTON, ECONOMIC SANCTIONS, GENEVA, IRAN, NUCLEAR WEAPONS, PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA