France Voices Doubt on Iran Nuclear Deal – Stacy Meichtry and Gerard Baker
France’s foreign minister Laurent Fabius voiced doubts that Western powers will reach a final nuclear deal with Iran, questioning Tehran’s willingness to abandon its ability to build an atomic bomb. Disagreements have already arisen over how to implement a preliminary accord that temporarily freezes Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for limited relief from sanctions.
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Fabius said, “We have to implement honestly the first phase. Then my main concern is the second phase. It is unclear if the Iranians will accept to definitively abandon any capacity of getting a weapon or only agree to interrupt the nuclear program.” “What is at stake is to ensure that there is no breakout capacity,” he added. “What we have to do is act in such a way that cheating is in practice impossible.” (Wall Street Journal)
U.S. Pessimism Sets in over Iran Nuclear Talks – Paul Richter (Los Angeles Times)
Three weeks after President Obama hailed a landmark deal to suspend most of Iran’s nuclear program for the next six months, the mood among U.S. officials about the next round of negotiations has shifted from elated to somber, even gloomy.
“I wouldn’t say [chances of success are] more than 50-50,” Obama said last week.
The shift, officials say, is the result of a growing recognition of the compromises each side must make to resolve Western suspicion that Iran will someday try to build nuclear weapons and the Iranian demand that the sanctions crippling its economy be lifted.