No Deal: Iran Nuclear Talks Stall

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says that Iran talks 'a long and interesting process, but a very productive one'

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Jason Reed / Reuters

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry speaks at a news conference in Geneva, Nov. 10, 2013.

Nuclear talks between six delegates and Iran have failed, but U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said that they had “not only narrowed the differences … but we made significant progress.”

Kerry said early Sunday morning that the Iran talks are “a long and interesting process, but a very productive one.” This comes after he held a round of late-night talks on Saturday with the involved delegations when the deal hit a setback.

France’s foreign minister Laurent Fabius said early Sunday morning that there are “still questions to be dealt with” in future rounds of negotiations. 

Western diplomats convened in Geneva on Friday, but complications arose when Fabius objected to a draft outlining conditions, delaying progress and forcing a second meeting, the Associated Press reports.

Fabius wants tougher conditions on the two main issues discussed at the meeting: Iran’s Arak heavy-water reactor and its production of highly enriched uranium, according to a Western diplomat. Iran denies nuclear weapon production, but runs more than 10,000 centrifuges that produce enriched uranium, which could be used for nuclear warheads.

Kerry met with his Iranian counterpart, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, for a third time on Saturday, but Zarif wasn’t included in Saturday’s late-night meeting.

On Friday, Kerry met with EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, as well as foreign ministers from Britain, France, Germany, Russia. Baodong Li, China’s deputy foreign minister, arrived Friday, the Washington Post adds 

The delegates will reconvene at a political directors level on Nov. 20 in Geneva.