Failure to Reach Iran Deal Creates Opponents Time to Lobby

According to Bloomberg,

Iran and world powers failed to reach a deal limiting the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program, creating an opening for opponents from Israel and Saudi Arabia to the U.S. Congress to lobby against the first-step plan before negotiations resume in 10 days.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani (Bloomberg)

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani (Bloomberg)

High-ranking diplomats from seven nations fell short of an accord in talks that stretched into a fourth day in Geneva. A next round has been scheduled to begin Nov. 20, European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said today.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, who yesterday raised concerns that not enough restrictions had been imposed on Iran’s partially-built Arak heavy-water reactor or the country’s stockpiles of enriched uranium and capacity to make more, told reporters early this morning that more work is needed.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry later said, “I feel very confident that this can be done. I’m not going to tell you it will be — but I can tell you it absolutely can be — with good effort over these next days.”

The pause gives opponents in Israel, Saudi Arabia and Washington time to lobby against any deal that would allow Iran to keep sensitive nuclear technologies and to press for new sanctions. After a stop in Abu Dhabi later today, Kerry intends to fly back to Washington to brief lawmakers and try to head off further congressional penalties that President Barack Obama’s administration says could scuttle an accord.

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