In what is hardly a surprising outcome, the parties involved in the Iran nuclear talks have decided it best for all to extend (and pretend) the discussion for another 7 months:
- *IRAN NUCLEAR TALKS EXTENDED UNTIL JULY 1, OFFICIALS SAY
Diplomatic teams will reconvene in December and the US State Department is proclaiming "good progress" in a brief statement. 7 more months of sanctions, a call with Putin today, and OPEC later in the week... one wonders if any of this will be relevant in 7 months. Additionally, it seems beggars can be choosers as P5+1 says Iran can get $700 million per month in frozen assets back...
One of the primary sticking points in this round of talks has been how to lift sanctions against Iran.
Hardliners in Iran have insisted that significant sanctions be lifted right away as a sign of good faith from the P5+1 countries. Such penalties, including banking and energy sanctions, would affect tens of billions of dollars.
Earlier this month, 200 Iranian members of parliament signed a statement demanding that Iranian negotiators "vigorously defend" the country's nuclear rights and ensure a "total lifting of sanctions."
But P5+1 members have said they'd prefer to lift the sanctions incrementally so they can have leverage on Iran and to make sure Tehran makes good on its commitments to whatever deal is reached.
Reaching a deal by the deadline "would be impossible" based on the differences that remain between negotiators, the Iranian Students' News Agency reported Sunday, citing an unidentified Iranian official involved in the talks.
Before Monday's extension of talks, a U.S. State Department official said negotiators had been "chipping away" at the issues.
"The focus of discussions remains on an agreement, but we are discussing both internally and with our partners a range of options for the best path forward," the official said.
This isn't the first time negotiations over Iran's nuclear program have been extended. The previous deadline had been pushed back four months, to this round of talks.
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It seems, once again, beggars can be choosers and consequences are a thing of the past anyway...
- *IRAN TO GET $700M IN FROZEN ASSETS PER MONTH, U.K. SAYS: AFP
- *IRAN SAYS TO RECEIVE $700 MLN/MONTH UNDER EXTENSION: Lavrov
So deal extended, no benefits for West... but you can have some of your funds back... *as long as you keep pressuring OPEC to keep oil prices low (but not too low)