Iran Focus

London, 9 Jul - Prominent Iranian and US experts on the Iran nuclear crisis on Wednesday warned that the world powers were offering Tehran too many concessions in the ongoing nuclear negotiations.

Key Western goals in the negotiations - including one to prevent Iran from having nuclear weapons capabilities - have been abandoned, said former US Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security, Amb. Robert G. Joseph.

Iran Focus

Tehran, 8 Jul - "Pursuing the Strategy of Destruction of Israel" is the Muslim world’s top priority, Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) said in a statement on Wednesday.

The statement came as Iranian nuclear negotiators are in marathon talks with the world powers in Vienna in the hopes of signing an international agreement.

The IRGC statement, which was carried by Iranian state news agencies, called for a large turnout in Iran and other Muslim countries at state rallies on Friday which Tehran recognises as International Quds (Jerusalem) Day.

Washington, 25 Jun - Iran's main opposition group on Thursday unveiled a detailed report on Tehran's strategies in nuclear negotiations with the world powers, which it is purportedly pursuing to keep its nuclear infrastructure intact and retain the capability to produce a nuclear weapon.

The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), the group which first blew the whistle on Iran's secret uranium enrichment and heavy-water sites in 2002, provided the 28-page report titled “Can the Iran regime be trusted?” at a press conference in Washington.

Iran Focus

Vienna, 7 Jul - Negotiations on a nuclear agreement between Iran and six major powers will be extended through Friday to provide more time for talks on a final agreement, United States negotiators said on Tuesday.

"We've made substantial progress in every area, but this work is highly technical and high stakes for all of the countries involved", Marie Harf, the spokeswoman for the US delegation, said in a statement. "We're frankly more concerned about the quality of the deal than we are about the clock, though we also know that difficult decisions won't get any easier with time — that is why we are continuing to negotiate".

US Secretary of State John Kerry telephoned Iran's foreign minister in recent days to tell him that Tehran must answer questions about whether its past atomic research was arms-related if it wants a nuclear deal, officials said.

The telephone calls came after Kerry raised eyebrows among some Western officials by saying the U.S. was "not fixated" on any past Iranian work, about which it already had "absolute knowledge," and was looking to the future instead, Reuters reported.

Iran Focus

Vienna, 7 Jul - A dispute over United Nations sanctions on Iran's ballistic missile program and a broader arms embargo were among issues holding up a nuclear deal between Tehran and six world powers on Monday, the day before their latest self-imposed deadline.

"The Iranians want the ballistic missile sanctions lifted. They say there is no reason to connect it with the nuclear issue, a view that is difficult to accept", one Western official told Reuters. "There's no appetite for that on our part".

Iranian and other Western officials confirmed this view. The foreign ministers of the P5+1 states - Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States - met on Monday with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohamed Javad Zarif - and were expected to meet again soon - to try to strike a deal by Tuesday night.

US Rep. Ed Royce, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee

Iran Focus

Washington, 25 Jun - The Obama Administration is "dropping its bottom-line by the day" in international negotiations over Iran's suspected nuclear weapons programme, US Rep. Ed Royce, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said in a statement on Wednesday.

A report by the Associated Press on Wednesday indicated that a possible agreement is set to offer Tehran high-tech reactors and convert Iran’s underground facility at Fordo for isotope production.

“The Obama Administration is dropping its bottom-line by the day. This morning it’s reported that Fordo will be used for isotope production. While we once demanded that this hardened mountain-top facility be shut, we are now on the verge of accepting technology there that can quickly be re-engineered for bomb-making fuel", Royce said in a statement.

Iran Focus

Tehran, 6 Jul - The United Nations’ atomic watchdog and Iran held "intense discussions" in Tehran on Monday about Possible Military Dimensions (PMD) of the country's nuclear programme, an Iranian official said.

The meeting was held as parallel talks were underway in Vienna between Iran and the P5+1 countries on the eve of a deadline for what would be a historic accord on the country's suspect nuclear drive.

It comes just days after the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Yukiya Amano, visited Tehran to try to advance Iran's negotiations with world powers over its nuclear programme.

London, 25 Jun - Former European lawmaker Struan Stevenson is warning that with the deadline for signing a nuclear deal with Iran looming on 30 June, US President Barack Obama seems to be committing to too many concessions and weakening the West's approach to the Iranian regime.

Stevenson on Thursday wrote in the United Press International: "Obama has conceded that Iran's expanding ballistic missile programme should be left out of any nuclear deal, despite the fact that they now have missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads and striking targets in Israel, Saudi Arabia or even Europe. North Korea has been an active partner with the Iranian regime in supplying weapons technology and a recent visit by senior North Korean missile experts to Tehran has confirmed fears that the regime is accelerating the size and quality of its intercontinental ballistic missile capability. Vladimir Putin has also now decided to renew a contract to deliver S-300 surface to air missile systems to Iran".

Iran Focus

Vienna, 5 Jul - Crunch talks between Iran and world powers aimed at curbing Tehran's nuclear program "could go either way", US Secretary of State John Kerry told reporters in Vienna on Sunday.

Negotiators from the P5+1 countries - Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States - and Iran are in Vienna trying to strike a deal whereby Tehran would curb parts of its nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.

Iran Focus

London, 24 Jun - Iran’s main opposition coalition National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), which is credited with exposing Tehran’s key nuclear sites, says it plans to unveil a detailed report on Thursday, 25 June on how Tehran has gained concessions from the West to keep its nuclear infrastructure intact.

The group’s US Representative Office plans to provide the report in an online conference at 10.30 am EST (16.30 European Time).

Iran Focus

London, 4 Jul - Former US Secretary of State and Democratic presidential contender Hillary Clinton on Friday said on Friday she hoped 18 months of nuclear talks between Iran and major powers would yield a deal in the coming days to curb Tehran’s nuclear program.

“I so hope we are able to get a deal next week that puts the lid on Iran’s nuclear weapons program,” she said at a rally on the Dartmouth College campus in Hanover, New Hampshire. “Even if we do get such a deal, we will still have major problems from Iran."

Iran Focus

Washington, 20 Jun – US Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, chided on Friday the Obama administration over comments by Secretary of State John Kerry on Tuesday that the US would be prepared to accept concessions regarding full disclosure of Iran’s past attempts to develop a nuclear weapon, including permitting sanctions relief before those issues are fully resolved.

Iran Focus

London, 3 July - The head of the UN nuclear agency, tasked with monitoring Iran's nuclear activities, is suggesting that a meeting with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has done little to advance his probe of alleged work by Tehran on an atomic weapon.

Yukiya Amano of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said Friday "more work will be needed" to kick-start the investigation. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani continues to deny the allegations, reflecting the stalemate that has stretched to nearly a decade.

More than 220 Euro MPs have called on Iran to allow unrestricted access to nuclear inspectors, and to end its widespread executions, repression and abuses of human rights.

The Brussels lawmakers from all political parties and 28 European countries made the demand in a statement sent to EU Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini.

Washington, 1 Jul - US President Barack Obama warned Iran on Tuesday that there would be no nuclear deal if Tehran does not agree to "serious, rigorous" inspections of its facilities.

"The goal of the nuclear negotiations is not to rely on trust, but to set up a verifiable mechanism where we are cutting off the pathways for Iran to obtain a nuclear weapon", Obama said.

John Kerry, the US Secretary of State, and Javad Zarif, the Iranian regime’s Foreign Minister are due to meet in Geneva this weekend. The talks will be part of the ongoing effort to achieve a comprehensive agreement regarding the nuclear program in Tehran.

It is essential to the deal that inspection and verification visits preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons are allowed. The Obama administration still upholds the opinion that the nuclear deal will block the path of the regime to the bomb according to the NCRI.

Washington, 29 Jun - Former CIA Director Michael Hayden said Sunday that the United States has lost its edge going into the final days of international negotiations with Iran to curbs its nuclear projects in return for an end to economic sanctions.

“I would actually fear that the Iranians have the upper hand right now,” Hayden said on ‘Fox News Sunday’.

The main Iranian opposition group, the National Council of the Resistance of Iran revealed on Thursday a delegation of North Korean experts in nuclear warheads and ballistic missiles visited a military site near Tehran in April amid talks between world powers and Iran over its nuclear program.
The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) exposed Iran's uranium enrichment plant at Natanz and a heavy water facility at Arak in 2002 and has many other revelations.


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