Iran Floats 'Breakthrough' Nuclear Plan at Talks With Big Powers

Big Powers 'Optimistic' About Deal — Israel Warns of Ruse

Breakthrough: Iran Foreign Minister Javad Zarif has floated a ‘breakthough’ new proposal to end the nuclear stalemate with the West.
getty images
Breakthrough: Iran Foreign Minister Javad Zarif has floated a ‘breakthough’ new proposal to end the nuclear stalemate with the West.

By Reuters

Published October 15, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

Iran said it presented “logical” proposals in talks with six world powers on Tuesday aimed at achieving a breakthrough in a decade-old standoff over its disputed nuclear programme that has heightened the risk of a new Middle East war.

Tehran launched negotiations in earnest with the United States, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany, reflecting the election in June of a relative moderate, Hassan Rouhani, as new Iranian president, raising hopes for an end to the deadlock.

After years of ideological defiance, Iran appeared keen for a negotiated settlement to win relief from sanctions that have crippled its economy, slashed 60 percent of its daily oil export revenue and caused a steep devaluation of the rial currency.

Details of the Iranian proposal - unveiled as a PowerPoint presentation - were not immediately available. Western diplomats have cautioned in the past that Tehran appeared loath to offer sufficient nuclear concessions to secure a deal.

Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi said, however, that the global powers had a “welcomed” Tehran’s proposals and the substantive details would be discussed later in the day at the deputy foreign minister level.

“We think that the proposal we have made has the capacity to make a breakthrough. We had a very serious and good meeting this morning,” he told reporters.

“The questions that were asked regarding Iran’s plan were completely serious and our answers were as well. Both sides felt that the opposite side was continuing the negotiations with motivation,” Araqchi said.

He added: “We are very serious .. We are not here to waste time. We are serious for a real target-oriented negotiation.”

The West suspects Iran is trying to develop the means to make nuclear arms behind the screen of a declared civilian atomic energy programme. Tehran denies this but its refusal to limit activity applicable to nuclear bomb production, or to permit unfettered U.N. inspections, has drawn severe sanctions.

In a possible sign of the Islamic Republic’s determination to meaningfully address specifics of the powers’ concerns after years of sidestepping them, the talks in Geneva were conducted in English for the first time.

A spokesman for the European Union foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, who oversees diplomacy with Iran on behalf of the six nations, said there was a sense of “cautious optimism” ahead of the meeting and that Ashton and Zarif dined together on Monday evening in a “very positive atmosphere”.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Israelis are taking up the #IceBucketChallenge — with hummus.
  • In WWI, Jews fought for Britain. So why were they treated as outsiders?
  • According to a new poll, 75% of Israeli Jews oppose intermarriage.
  • Will Lubavitcher Rabbi Moshe Wiener be the next Met Council CEO?
  • Angelina Jolie changed everything — but not just for the better:
  • Prime Suspect? Prime Minister.
  • Move over Dr. Ruth — there’s a (not-so) new sassy Jewish sex-therapist in town. Her name is Shirley Zussman — and just turned 100 years old.
  • From kosher wine to Ecstasy, presenting some of our best bootlegs:
  • Sara Kramer is not the first New Yorker to feel the alluring pull of the West Coast — but she might be the first heading there with Turkish Urfa pepper and za’atar in her suitcase.
  • About 1 in 40 American Jews will get pancreatic cancer (Ruth Bader Ginsberg is one of the few survivors).
  • At which grade level should classroom discussions include topics like the death of civilians kidnapping of young Israelis and sirens warning of incoming rockets?
  • Wanted: Met Council CEO.
  • “Look, on the one hand, I understand him,” says Rivka Ben-Pazi, a niece of Elchanan Hameiri, the boy that Henk Zanoli saved. “He had a family tragedy.” But on the other hand, she said, “I think he was wrong.” What do you think?
  • How about a side of Hitler with your spaghetti?
  • Why "Be fruitful and multiply" isn't as simple as it seems:
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.