…US Secretary of State John Kerry postponed his departure from the talks for a second time and will remain through Thursday morning, the State Department said
Switzerland – French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius is leaving the marathon negotiations that have gone into overtime led by the United States between world powers and Tehran over Iran’s nuclear technology activities.
A French official told France 24 today (Wednesday, April 1) that Fabius was leaving the talks and would return from France when it was “useful.”
Speaking at a joint news conference with Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin, French President Francois Hollande said it would be better to have no deal than a bad deal – the same opinion expressed last month by Israel’s Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu while speaking to the U.S. Congress.
And yet, talks are continuing in a marathon effort to reach a deal which by all accounts other than those of the negotiators themselves, appears to be a bad deal, at least for everyone other than Iran.
The deadline for talks had been set for March 31 – a supposed “hard” red line that U.S. President Barack Obama vowed would not be crossed.
Today that line was crossed with ease, in Obama’s desperation to reach a deal with Tehran – as was the “red line” set by Obama over the use of chemical weapons against Syrian citizens by President Bashar al-Assad.
It was not clear what prompted the French foreign minister to leave. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov had told Russia’s TASS news agency that a general accord had been reached all “all key aspects.” (read more)
(update) French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said late on Wednesday that Iran still had to make more effort to reach a preliminary political accord, but Tehran and the six powers were in the final and most difficult stages.
“We are a few metres from the finishing line, but it’s always the last metres that are the most difficult. We will try to cross them,” Fabius said on his return to the talks in Lausanne.
“It’s not done yet. We want a robust and verifiable agreement and there are still points where there needs to be progress especially on the Iranian side,” he said. (more)