Negotiator: Iran Near Nuclear Deal with World Powers

Iranian negotiator expects deal on Friday

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Iran’s plan to curb some of its nuclear activity in exchange for relief from economic sanctions won the preliminary backing of six major world powers on Thursday, Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator said.
Abbas Araghchi is in Geneva for the latest round of talks with representatives from the E3+3 (Britain, France, Germany, China, Russia and the U.S.). After the morning session, he said they “clearly” accepted the proposed framework and expects an agreement on the details by Friday, after the current talks end.
A significant negotiating point is whether the country would stop producing uranium enriched to 20 percent, at which it could be converted into weapons-grade material. Another crucial point is if Iran would turn its stockpiles into a form that is difficult to enrich further toward weapons-grade.
Javad Zarif, Iran’s foreign minister,¬†told¬†Reuters after the first session that progress was being made, but it’s “tough.” Zarif plans to meet again with Catherine Ashton, the E.U.’s top diplomat who convened the meeting, later in the afternoon. Speaking to reporters about the potential deal to end the decade-long standoff, he added, “If everyone tries their best, we may have one.”
[AP]