Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Speaking from Geneva on Monday, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said a deal on Iran's nuclear program could be concluded this week if the United States and other Western countries have sufficient political will and agree to remove sanctions on Tehran. "Our negotiating partners, particularly the Western countries and particularly the United States, must once and for all come to the understanding that sanctions and agreement don't go together." (Photo: AP/Ebrahim Noroozi)

Iran: Let's Make a Deal

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says that sanctions relief key, but that Iran is prepared to settle nuclear arrangement once and for all

Jon Queally

As Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu touched down in the United States for a contentious two-day visit specifically designed to derail a pending nuclear agreement between Iran, the United States and other world powers, the Iranian foreign minister on Monday made his nation's position clear and said a deal is close so long as the Obama administration can muster the political will to see it through.

What is primary, said Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif from Geneva—where he was attending a meeting of the UN Human Rights Commission—is that economic and trade sanctions aimed at Tehran come to an end.

"Our negotiating partners, particularly the Western countries and particularly the United States," Zarif told Reuters, "must once and for all come to the understanding that sanctions and agreement don't go together. If they want an agreement, sanctions must go... We believe all sanctions must be lifted."

Zarif continued, "We have made some progress since last time and if there is the political will... we can have an agreement this time."

On Sunday evening, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Switzerland for three days of talks between the P5+1 nations (the U.S., U.K., Russia, France, China and Germany) and Zarif and his Iranian delegation.  The talks themselves will take place in the lakeside town of Montreaux over three days beginning Monday.

Also on the sidelines of a meeting of the UNHRC in Geneva earlier in the day, Kerry was tight-lipped about his upcoming meeting with Zarif. "The clock is ticking," Kerry reportedly said of the pending deal. He further indicated it was in neither party's interest to discuss what issues still remain outstanding.

Back in Washington D.C., as the powerful American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) readies to receive Netanyahu on Monday, U.S. lawmakers are making last-minute  decisions on whether or not they will attend a speech the prime minister is scheduled to deliver to a joint-session of Congress on Tuesday.

So far, nearly forty Democrats have said they will not attend Netanyahu's speech and the Obama administration has publicly criticized the prime minister for his interference in the debate regarding the talks in Switzerland and urging Congress to sabotage the deal by passing even more sanctions which all observers understand is the surest way to sabotage the prospects of a deal with Tehran.

Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

Bush and Warren Lead New Bill to Protect Renters Nationwide From Eviction

"This pandemic isn't over, and we have to do everything we can to protect renters from the harm and trauma of needless eviction, which upends the lives of those struggling to get back on their feet."

Jessica Corbett ·

Campaign Slams Vaccine Makers for Fueling 'Unprecedented' Human Rights Crisis

"Covid-19 vaccines must be readily available and accessible for all. It is up to governments and pharma companies to make this a reality."

Brett Wilkins ·

Sunrise Movement Targets Kyrsten Sinema for Obstructing Build Back Better Act

"Who do you work for? Do you work for the young, BIPOC, and working people who put their lives on hold to elect you? Or do you work for ExxonMobil and fossil fuel corporations?"

Brett Wilkins ·

UN Chief Tells World Leaders To Their Faces That Vaccine Apartheid Is 'An Obscenity'

Persistent inequality represents "a moral indictment of the state of our world," U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres said.

Julia Conley ·

Global People's Summit on Food Systems Kicks Off to Challenge 'Corporate Agenda' of UN Meeting

"The people are hungry for real change, and are willing to do whatever it takes to fight for and reclaim their land, their rights, and the future of food systems."

Kenny Stancil ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.

Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo