WASHINGTON – Nuclear talks between Iran and the United States intensified over the weekend in Geneva, one month ahead of a deadline for a comprehensive nuclear deal.
Two major sticking points remain that are matters of political will: Whether Iran will allow international inspectors access to military sites suspected of hosting nuclear weaponization programs, and whether all five permanent members of the UN Security Council will agree on a mechanism that can snap sanctions back in place should Iran be found in violation of the deal.
No progress was reported from the talks in Geneva on the question of access to Iran’s military facilities – specifically Parchin, which both France and the US have said is a necessary component of any final accord.
Iran has repeatedly ruled out “alien” inspections into any of its military facilities, characterizing such demands a violation of its sovereignty.
“Inspection of military installations has never been on the agenda in our negotiations,” Hamid Ba’eedinejad, a senior negotiator for Iran, was quoted as saying by state-run Press TV. “As we have made it very clear, we never accepted that there could be inspections from the military sites in our country.”