High stakes as US domestic politics hit Iran nuclear talks
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There are more benefits to the deal with Tehran on its use of nuclear energy than meet the eye. As the pace of negotiations accelerates, it is worth considering why.
An International Atomic Energy Agency team was in the Iranian capital Wednesday to get answers about alleged possible military dimensions to Iran's nuclear operations since, and even before, 2003.
Fresh talks among the P5+1 group, comprising the United Nation's permanent Security Council members plus Germany are due to take place on 21 April, as they aim to finalise an agreement by a 30 June deadline.
Meanwhile, the US Senate has voted to allow both houses in the US Congress to have a say on any final international accord, and even veto it.
This would make the process longer, but not impossible, says Paul Rogers at Bradford University in the UK. The expert on conflict resolution and geostrategy says that while the Obama administration's stated aim through any such deal with Iran is a safer world, it's also for the sake of history.
"Obama and his administration seem extremely keen on getting this through if they possibly can," he said. "I think that as we're coming towards the end of his second terms, these two foreign policy deals one with Cuba, which is working, and one with Iran as possibly being landmark things, legacy issues, for his regime in the long term."
The US Senate on Tuesday approved a measure to give the Congress a say in any final international deal on Iran’s nuclear programme. They can even reject it.
Some US lawmakers say not one single sanction should be lifted until the period during which they would review it is over. The bill they approved will reduce that review period by eight days.
Iranian President Hassan Rohani, however, has said that Iran would not accept an overall accord on its nuclear programme until all of the sanctions are lifted.