A proposed nuclear deal between Iran and the West fell through in Geneva on Saturday, despite widespread anticipation that an agreement would be reached. Diplomats in Geneva, including U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, said they would continue their efforts at the next round of talks on Nov. 20. Kerry put a brave face on the failure, claiming that differences had narrowed and that he still believed that an agreement was possible.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who took the unusual step last week of warning publicly that the proposal was a “very, very bad deal,” will continue to oppose the terms of the deal. Israel’s main concern–shared by France, which has eclipsed the U.S. as the leading global opponent of a nuclear Iran–was that the proposal would have left much of Iran’s nuclear enrichment capability in place, and close to weaponization.
The Jerusalem Post noted: “The main sticking points appeared to include calls for a shutdown of a reactor that could eventually help to produce weapons-grade nuclear fuel, the fate of Iran’s stockpile of high[ly] erenriched uranium, and the nature and sequencing of relief from economic sanctions sought by Tehran.” Iran continues to insist on its right to enrich uranium, and has done little to allay fears of its ultimate intentions.