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Obama ‘under pressure’ to reach nuclear agreement with Iran: Analyst

US President Barack Obama

US President Barack Obama is “under pressure” to reach an agreement with Iran over Tehran’s nuclear energy program, an American foreign policy analyst says.

“It’s quite obvious to everyone that Mr. Obama would like to have a deal with Iran,” said James George Jatras, a former US diplomat and adviser to the Senate Republican leadership.

“He’s under a lot of pressure to try to bring negotiations to a conclusion that he can defend domestically,” Jatras said Sunday during a phone interview with Press TV.

“I doubt very much that the United States would walk away from the negotiations because this is such a strong priority for Mr. Obama who otherwise has very little to show in the realm of foreign policy,” he added.

US Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif began a new round of talks in Geneva on Tehran’s nuclear program on Sunday.

Ali Akbar Salehi, the director of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) and US Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz also attended the talks. The high-ranking officials have already held two rounds of negotiations to discuss the technical aspects of Iran’s nuclear program.

Iran and the P5+1 group of  states – Britain, France, China, Russia, the United States, Germany –  are holding negotiations in Geneva to narrow remaining differences ahead of a deadline in late March for a framework agreement between the two sides. The deadline for the final agreement is July 1.

The scale of Iran’s uranium enrichment and the timetable for the lifting of anti-Iran sanctions are seen as major sticking points in the talks.

Jatras downplayed Kerry’s warning on Saturday that Washington is ready to walk away from the nuclear talks unless Iran agrees to a deal that proves it does not want atomic weapons. “I think it’s quite clear that Mr. Kerry is playing domestic politics.”

Iran argues that as a committed signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), it has the right to use nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.


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