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News ID: 6615
Iran » Iran
Publish Date: 15:58 - 24 March 2015
Tehran, YJC. The White House press secretary has said that there is a proposition that Iran and the group 5+1 might reach a deal on Tehran’s nuclear program by the end of March.

Asked about Iran’s FM Mohammad Javad Zarif who said that disagreements over a nuclear deal have pretty much been resolved, and declared himself optimistic that the deadline for a framework could be met by the end of the month, White Hosue Press Secretary Josh Earnest said, "In the mind of the President, the odds have not moved. We are in a situation where we are, at best, it’s a 50/50 proposition that a deal will be completed before the end of March. There are a couple of reasons for that. The first is, the President is driving a very hard bargain and Iran is going to have to make some very tough and specific commitments as it relates to resolving the international community’s concerns with their nuclear program as well as agreeing to a set of extraordinarily intrusive inspections. And that’s the only way that we’re going to get to an agreement, and that’s why the President is realistic about how difficult it will be to arrive at an agreement.”

He further added "The second thing is that -- well, and let me just clarify, which is the only way that this is difficult -- or let me say it in the affirmative, which is that the way that this is a reasonable approach, as the President has previously described, is that if Iran is true to their word, that they only seek a nuclear program for genuinely peaceful purposes. If that’s the case, they shouldn’t have any concerns with the kinds of significant changes that would be made to their nuclear program, and they would be willing to readily submit to the kinds of intrusive inspections measures that the international community is going to insist upon.”

"The second reason that we continue to believe that our odds of reaching this agreement are at best 50/50 is that it is going to require the Iranian leadership, including those who aren’t at the table, to sign on to this agreement. And the fact is, from our vantage point it's difficult to predict what exactly they’ll conclude. And so that is an X factor in these negotiations.”

Earnest who was speaking at a daily briefing, in answer to the question whether Tehran holds the same argument said, "Except they’re dealing with the President of the United States who does have the ability to reach this agreement with our international partners and with the Iranians. And the President has been very clear about what exactly our expectations are. And for as clear as we’ve been about them in public, we’re obviously being even more candid and specific about what our expectations are around the negotiating table. And the Iranians and the international community can have confidence that when the President lays out exactly what his expectations are, that he will stick to them.”

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