A temporary, interim nuclear deal is in place between Iran and major global powers. But now senior officials are having difficulty pinning down a permanent deal. It’s time to pray again for a breakthrough.
Last weekend, chief negotiators from Iran and six other major world powers (known as the P5+1) departed from the negotiating table in Geneva having failed to make progress towards a permanent deal. The talks, mostly between Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and P5+1 chief negotiator Catherine Ashton, are aimed at securing a freeze on parts of Iran's nuclear programme in return for limited sanctions relief.
Two weeks ago, the ministers had jetted in seeking to sign a deal, only to fail as cracks appeared among the P5+1 nations. Now it seems negotiations have once more failed to deliver much needed results. If there is no deal, or at least an agreement to meet again soon and keep the diplomatic momentum going, the standoff could enter a new, potentially dangerous phase.