Intense diplomatic activity continued in the night of Monday to Tuesday in Vienna, where a historic agreement on the Iranian nuclear seemed about to materialize.
Country P5 + 1 group (the US, Germany, Russia, China, France, UK), Iran, European Union chief diplomat not only was missing in the Coburg palace that houses the negotiations since 17 days.
At midnight, the ministers of the major powers attending a plenary meeting, just after a new exchange between American John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
Officially, however, nothing is concluded.
If they have “made real progress,” it remains “points of disagreement that are not resolved,” said Josh Earnest in the evening, spokesman of President Barack Obama.
The ministers of the P5 + 1 should hold a meeting, possibly final on Tuesday morning before any official announcement of a deal.
For two days, all the actors ensure that the agreement is almost completed – to “98%” according to a diplomat. But it still takes “political decisions” to solve two or three sticking points, they say in unison.
While the Americans and the Iranians were willing to continue the talks as long as needed, Beijing on Monday called for an end to procrastination.
“No agreement can be perfect,” said Minister Wang Li. “The conditions are in place to reach a good agreement” and “there should not be any new deadlines,” he added.
Tehran and major powers trying to close a folder that is poisoning international relations for over twelve years.
Iran is suspected of having implemented until 2003 and possibly beyond, a military nuclear program under the guise of civil activities, he has always denied.
For ten years, the United States, the European Union and the United Nations impose sanctions on the Islamic Republic to force it to negotiate.
The talks have really started in 2013 after the election of President Hassan Rouhani on the promise of lifting sanctions.
In April in Lausanne, negotiators obtained snatching a framework agreement which set the main principles of the final text.
Iran has notably agreed to reduce the number of its centrifuges and enriched uranium stock, which must make almost impossible the rapid manufacture of an atomic bomb.
The framework agreement the practical arrangements referred to subsequent discussions, expected to end June 30 The deadline has been extended three times and the final deadline is fixed until further notice, to Monday night.
On Sunday, President Rohani compared negotiators arrived climbers near the summit.
The head of the Iranian state must speak on television once the agreement. No date, no time is confirmed for this intervention.
Monday, a message indicating an agreement is briefly appeared on his Twitter account. He was then removed to return later in the conditional.
Another indication that an epilogue to: Iranian Interior Minister has asked local authorities to prepare for scenes of jubilation in the streets, the people hope that the lifting of international sanctions will allow for improvement of living conditions life if agreed.
The sequence of Vienna talks is already one of the longest cycles of international negotiations at ministerial level and in one place, from that which led to Dayton (United States) in 1995 that ended the war in Bosnia And Herzegovina.
Discussions dragged on because of disagreements over the term of the agreement, the pace of the lifting of sanctions or access to Iranian military sites.
The negotiations also stumbled on the lifting of restrictions on the missile program and the arms trade, claimed by Tehran with Moscow’s support.
Westerners consider this delicate demand because of Iranian involvement in several conflicts, particularly in Syria and Iraq.
The neighbors of Iran, including Israel and the Sunni powers, oppose indeed an agreement that paves the way for a normalization in Tehran on the international stage.
Even if improved last minute, the deal will be “bad”, reiterated Monday the Israeli Defence Minister, Moshe Yaalon, citing the risk of a “nuclear arms race” in the region.
In the US, where the memory of the hostage crisis at the US embassy in Tehran in 1980 is still alive, the agreement also meeting strong opposition.