Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Iran nuclear talks: Khamenei rejects key US demands, Obama offers Iran nuclear technology

(BBC) Iran's supreme leader has hardened his stance on the nuclear negotiations with world powers, with the deadline for a comprehensive agreement only days away.

In a speech on Tuesday night, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei insisted Iran would only dismantle its nuclear infrastructure if economic sanctions were lifted first.

He also ruled out a freeze on research and development for 10 years, as well as inspections of military sites.

The demands appear to undercut a framework deal announced in April.

(Fox News) The United States and its allies are willing to offer Iran state-of-the-art nuclear equipment if Tehran agrees to pare down its atomic weapons program as part of a final nuclear agreement, a draft document has revealed.

The confidential paper, obtained by the Associated Press, has dozens of bracketed text where disagreements remain. Technical cooperation is the least controversial issue at the talks, and the number of brackets suggest the sides have a ways to go, not only on that topic but also more contentious disputes, with less than a week until the June 30 deadline for a deal.

However, the scope of the help now being offered in the draft may displease U.S. congressional critics who already argue that Washington has offered too many concessions at the negotiations.