Satellite image shows a nuclear facility in Iran.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
It is unlikely the world powers and Iran will reach a nuclear agreement before the end of March, a senior diplomatic official said Monday, adding that at this point much is dependent on the “difficult decision” the Iranians will have to make.
According to the official, significant differences remain between Iran and the P5+1, and it is difficult to see how it will be possible to overcome the Iranian demand for a removal of all the sanctions. He said that no one can say with certainty whether an agreement will be signed in the near future.
“There has still not been a deep Iranian change regarding the concessions that can bring them to an agreement,” the official said. “We are not seeing a strategic decision regarding concessions by [Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali] Khamenei,” the official said.
The official said that a crisis in the talks could definitely “sharpen the dilemma for the Iranians and help get to an agreement under better conditions.”
Last week Mossad head Tamir Pardo told a group of visiting senators led by John McCain that ratcheting up sanctions on Iran would be tantamount to “throwing a grenade” into a room in the sense that it could create “a temporary crisis in the negotiations at the end of which talks would resume under improved conditions.”
According to the senior diplomatic official, a combination of diplomatic pressure and economic leverage increases the chances for better results in the negotiations.” He said that placing pressure on Iran does not guarantee that an agreement will be reached, but the lack of pressure will ensure that there would not be an agreement.