Iran asks Lavrov to bless nuclear deal, Obama says 'chances less than 50-50'
As the negotiating parties seek to conclude the long-awaited deal, Iran and the US seems to have made up their minds on how to treat the ongoing talks.
"For us it will be appropriate if Mr. [Sergey] Lavrov will be here for a deal. And I think for him it is important to be here when the deal is done, if it is done," a senior Iranian diplomat told Sputnik.
Lavrov, who is currently attending the BRICS summit in Ufa, Russia, said that universal agreement on the Iranian nuclear issue is within a reach and the sides are just a step away from making a deal. The ending of nuclear talks in Vienna will open road to lifting sanctions against Iran, he said.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani also showed optimism that an agreement could soon be reached.
"Negotiations with the P5+1 group are at a sensitive stage and the Islamic republic of Iran is preparing for [the period of] post-negotiations and post-sanctions," he said. Updating Iranians on the progress of talks, the chief Iranian negotiator Abbas Araqchi told the people that there was a consensus on lifting the sanctions.
"We have reached a consensus for the removal of financial and economic sanctions on the day of implementing the deal," Araqchi was quoted by state IRIB TV as saying. "The discussions are at very sensitive stage. We are trying to reduce the differences for a deal," he added, Xinhua cites
The Americans show certain restraint. According to Senator Chris Murphy cited by POLITICO, President Barack Obama said that he “wanted to make it clear to us that if it’s a bad deal, there’s no deal.”
At the same time “He [Obama] said, ‘Don’t get nervous, don’t get concerned about statements by the supreme leader, about statements in the press. I am not going to sign a deal where we can’t assure that we’ve blocked all pathways to a bomb for Iran,” Senator Chris Coons said Tuesday night.
The Obama administration is doing its best to dismiss suggestions that the president might sign any deal just for the sake of a legacy, first disregarding the July 7 deadline and now downplaying the self-imposed deadline of July 9, despite the fact that if the deal is not reached by midnight Thursday, the US Congress will have 60 days, instead of just 30, to consider the pact, according to POLITICO.
Attending a working cocktail party in the State Dining Room Tuesday night, Obama appeared “not at all” concerned about the possible implications of the deal, reports POLITICO.
“He said the chances, he thought, were less than 50-50 at this point and that he wouldn’t agree to something he thought was weak or unenforceable,” Senator Dick Durbin told POLITICO on Wednesday.
According to diplomatic sources, Iran and the six world powers - comprising Russia, the United States, China, France, the United Kingdom and Germany - are working nonstop, and a deal might be sealed by Thursday.