Talks over a nuclear deal have stalled between Iran and six other world powers in Lausanne, Switzerland, said Western officials on Friday. They are expected to resume later next week and the hope is that the deadlock will be broken and the two sides will be able to come to an agreement over the lifting of sanctions and the Iran’s production of nuclear materials.
However, exactly when those sanctions would be lifted is become one of the biggest sticking points for Iran in this deal, and it appears to be one of the major things that is continuing to stall talks. Iranian negotiators want the U.N. sanctions lifted at the front end of any deal that is reached. The U.S. and Europe, however, want the sanctions to be lifted in phases over several years.
There is also disagreement over whether there should be limits on the nuclear research Iran can do as well as the number of centrifuges (which are used to purify uranium for using in nuclear reactors or, if it’s highly-enriched, in nuclear weapons) Iran would be allowed to operate and develop. Currently, there is a March 31st deadline for political framework to be drawn up and a June 30th deadline for a full nuclear deal.
Can the two sides agree on political framework by the end of March? What are the biggest sticking points for the two sides? Is the U.S. compromising too much?
Suzanne Maloney, senior fellow at the Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution
Robert Kaufman, professor in the School of Public Policy at Pepperdine University