Secretary of State John Kerry departed for Geneva on Friday to take part in discussions with Iranian leaders regarding nuclear power and production. Kerry will join top officials from the five other world powers taking part in the negotiations; Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov; British Foreign Minister William Hague; French Minister Laurent Fabius; and leaders from China, Russia, and Germany will all take part, as well.
The last time negotiations were discussed concerning uranium enrichment in Tehran, no compromises were made. Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi said no deals would be considered which didn’t include the right to continue uranium enrichment. According to Iranian officials, they are only enriching for medicinal uses, reactor fuel, and research. However, it is also known for producing material used for nuclear warheads.
A deal struck would mean that Iran would begin to lower the threat of atomic weapons for relief from certain scanctions, such as Iran’s previously-denied use of the World Bank, as well as the release of restrictions on their exportation of oil. However, Iranian leaders also say that they want ‘more’ and ‘faster’ release of sanctions, though that was not elaborated upon.
U.S. Senators are driving a hard bargain as well, though; Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid recently spoke out about his displeasure at what the U.S. is offering. Leaders from both parties – Democratic and Republican – are voicing their disapproval of what the U.S. and the other five countries involved are offering Iran, as well. The resounding argument from the Senate is that we should not agree to anything less than a complete ban on uranium enrichment.
It was unclear whether Secretary of State Kerry would join the conference in Geneva until earlier today. According to Fox News, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki reported that Kerry decided to attend “with the goal of continuing to help narrow the differences” and, possibly, a final agreement.
Main image courtesy @JohnKerry via Twitter.