Iran Puts Nuclear Talks on Hold

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After White House cracks down on companies that support the country’s nuclear program

Read more: Iran Nuclear Talks: Iran Pauses After White House Sanction Measures | TIME.com http://world.time.com/2013/12/13/iran-puts-nuclear-talks-on-hold/#ixzz2nOTQk2yL

Iran angrily suspended negotiations with world powers late Thursday after the White House announced new measures to crack down on companies that support the country’s nuclear program.

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Diplomats, including Secretary of State John Kerry, said they expect Iran to rejoin talks in the coming days, even after Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi told the semi-official state news agency that the measures are “against the spirit” of the interim deal reached in November.

“We are evaluating the situation and Iran will react accordingly to the new sanctions imposed on 19 companies and individuals,” Araqchi told the Fars news agency Friday, according to Reuters. The Russian foreign ministry echoed Iran’s concerns in a statement.

The White House measures announced Thursday appeared timed to preempt Congress — which is largely skeptical of the interim deal — from imposing new potential sanctions on Iran, a move that Iran has said would kill any deal.

The temporary deal negotiated last month in Geneva begins lifting crippling economic sanctions on Iran in exchange for a partial freeze in its nuclear program while a longer-term deal is hashed out in high level talks like those in Vienna this week.

Kerry, on a visit to Israel, said he expects talks to resume in the next few days, Reuters reports.

“We have been hard at it in Vienna,” he said. “We are making progress but I think that they’re at a point in those talks where folks feel a need to consult and take a moment.”


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