The latest round of talks on Iran’s nuclear program concluded on Saturday, having sadly failed to make any progress. Increasing indications that various parties will not countenance the indefinite continuation of the talks mean that now is the time for the church to unite in praying earnestly for peace.
Almaty in Kazakhstan played host to the E3+3 (UK, US, France, Germany, Russia and China), EU High Representative Catherine Ashton and Iran as they negotiated for two days on Iran’s nuclear program. However, the talks did not manage to bring the situation any closer to resolution.
As the talks began on Friday, it soon became apparent that there would be scant agreement on the main issues of sanctions and enrichment. Western diplomats offered limited relief on sanctions on Tehran, asking in return for Iran to abandon its higher-grade uranium enrichment. However, Tehran has argued that it is entitled to enrichment in order to convert the material into fuel for a medical research reactor. Iran has always insisted that its uranium enrichment program is solely for the production of power, but other nations are concerned that Iran’s intention is to develop nuclear weapons.
The US Secretary of State, John Kerry, disclosed on Sunday that while a diplomatic solution is preferred, the talks cannot go on indefinitely. With Israel calling for a deadline for Iran to halt enrichment, there are fears that a military solution will be pursued if negotiation does not prove fruitful very soon.
With tensions also rising on the Korean peninsula over the previous few weeks, nuclear issues should be at the heart of the church’s prayers at this time.
• A desire for peace from all global leaders
• A willingness from all parties for negotiations to continue until resolution is found
• Solid progress to be made at the next round of talks