World powers’ efforts to reach a nuclear agreement with Iran adjourned early today with both sides speaking of progress but with failure to seal a deal that both sides badly wanted — initial caps on Tehran’s ability to make an atomic bomb in exchange for some easing of sanctions stifling Iran’s economy.
As the talks foundered after optimistic words of progress from both sides, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry rushed to Geneva, followed by counterparts from Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany, for a last-ditch effort to muscle through an accord.
That push failed, with Iranian opposition to giving too much for too little in return complicated by dissent within the six powers. France rejected a joint list of demands on Iran, saying they were too generous to result in sanctions relief.
Top EU diplomat Catherina Ashton joined Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif to announce progress, but no conclusive results.
Talks that began Thursday spilled into early Saturday with a final joint meeting between negotiators of both sides.
Ashton spoke of “a lot of concrete progress” but also of “some differences.”
Zarif said he hoped those disagreements will be resolved at a future meeting.
The two said they would talk Nov. 20, but no full new round between the two sides was announced.