Jeffrey LewisParis Negotiations Update 7: How do you spell "considerable progress" in Persian?

“Negotiations were very hard and complicated but we reached a preliminary agreement on an expertise level,” Hossein Mousavian told Iranian state television (via Reuters), “It is a framework that contains the viewpoints of all sides. All four delegations are supposed to go to their capitals and if the capitals agree with the agreement, it will be officially announced in the next few days.” (IRNA seemed confused about this).

After 22 hours of negotiations, Mousavian seemed to be the only person capable of deviating from talking points:

  • “After two days of very difficult discussions, we have made significant progress toward a provisional agreement. We all agree after these difficult talks on a common approach to the problem. . . . An agreement is attainable,” a senior Iranian envoy involved in the negotiations told the Washington Post on condition of anonymity in a telephone interview from Paris
  • The two sides made “considerable progress in reaching a provisional agreement” according to French foreign ministry spokesman, Hervé Ladsous.
  • “The talks concluded with considerable progress. They came close to a provisional agreement.” said Cristina Gallach, spokeswoman for EU Foreign Policy chief Javier Solana.

The agreement is essentially the one AFP reported late last week: “This paper fudges the uranium enrichment question by saying suspension needs to hold until the conclusion of negotiations over the long-term status of Iran’s program,” a Western diplomat told AFP at the time. An EU diplomat told Reuters that the current agreement relies on that formula: “The time frame (of the enrichment suspension) will be given by the pace of reaching overall agreement.”

No further meetings are envisioned, according to an Iranian envoy.

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