No Iran nuclear deal as Rouhani stresses own "red line"

Iranians expressed anger at France for blocking a stopgap deal aimed at easing tensions and buying time

By Natasha Lennard

Published November 10, 2013 3:17PM (EST)

Riffing on U.S. and Israeli parlance, Iran's pragmatist president Hassan Rouhani Sunday said Tehran has a "red line" of its own in nuclear power discussions.

No deal was reached after negotiations this last week in Geneva between top officials from Iran and six power nations including the U.S. and France -- a group known as P5+1.

Rouhani has stressed that he is not willing to give up uranium enrichment, calling it a "red line" he would not cross, while Western powers and I a stopgap deal aimed at defusing tensions and buying more time for negotiations.srael continue to emphasize concerns that the enrichment, which isotopes for medical treatments, could be developed to make nuclear weapons. Tensions between Israel and the U.S. also heightened in light of the Geneva talks, as Western powers appeared willing to allow Iran's uranium enrichment programs to continue with a limit of high level production. Israel meanwhile stuck to well-trodden lines, fear mongering about the imminence of Iran's nuclear threat and urging a strong line be held.

France also arose as a controversial player in the Geneva negotiations, angering Iranians when its foreign minister blocked a stopgap deal aimed at buying more time for negotiations. The Guardian reported:

French opposition was focused on a draft text agreement that laid out a short-term deal to slow down or stop elements of the Iranian nuclear program in return for limited sanctions relief. The French complained that the text, which they said was mostly drafted by Iran and the U.S., had been presented as a fait accompli and they did not want to be stampeded into agreement.

Fabius told France Inter radio yesterday morning that Paris would not accept a "fools' game". "As I speak to you, I cannot say there is any certainty that we can conclude," he said.

Iranian officials insisted that the draft had been written in close collaboration with western officials, and said France was single-handedly holding up progress by dividing the "P5+1" negotiating group, comprising the US, UK, France, Germany, Russia and China.

Natasha Lennard

Natasha Lennard is an assistant news editor at Salon, covering non-electoral politics, general news and rabble-rousing. Follow her on Twitter @natashalennard, email

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Related Topics ------------------------------------------

France Geneva Hassan Rouhani Iran Nuclear Talks Nuclear Weapons Red Line Sanctions Tehran Uranium Enrichment