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27 June 2017 00:30 (South Africa)

Iranian domestic politics pose possible speed bump for nuclear deal

Iran continues to haggle about the uranium enrichment deal it apparently had already accepted. Analysts say the unwillingness to sign may well be a by-product of its domestic political crisis, rather than a negotiating tactic. Experts say the public debate over the deal points to unhealed fissures in Iran’s society and ruling elite, stemming from the country’s recent, acrimonious presidential election. The proposed agreement would head off new sanctions, but the delays now mean western patience could be wearing thin. US secretary of state Hillary Clinton said Tehran must accept the deal in full without changes, and, after meeting with Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov, UK foreign minister David Miliband said both wanted a prompt response from the Iranians. Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad seems to be at the centre of this latest wrangle. He has argued that Iran should accept the deal because his tough stance had pushed the West into accepting Iran’s right to enrich uranium in the first place. Obviously that hasn’t been enough to win the day in Iran’s inner circles. Read more: New York Times

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