The affordable education loan option
GENEVA - World powers hope to reach an agreement with Iran that allays all international concerns over Tehran's nuclear programme but are not “naive” about the difficulty of achieving such a deal, a senior US administration official said on Monday.
Six world powers - the United States, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany - hold talks with Iran on its nuclear programme in Geneva on Tuesday and Wednesday.
“No one should expect a breakthrough overnight,” the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
The official said Washington was ready to offer Iran rapid relief from economic sanctions if Tehran moved quickly to address concerns that the ultimate goal of its nuclear work was to make bombs. Iran denies having any military intentions.
Any potential sanctions relief, the official said, would be “targeted, proportional to what Iran puts on the table”.
“I'm sure they will disagree about what is proportionate,” the official said. “But we are quite clear about what the menu of options are and what will match what.”
The official said the administration of President Barack Obama was encouraged that Iran's new President Hassan Rouhani, widely seen as a pragmatist and more moderate than his hardline predecessor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has a mandate to “pursue a more moderate course” and has denied plans to pursue atomic weapons.
But Tehran must be put to the test, the official added.
“That is what we will be doing over the coming days,” the official said, noting that “no one is naive about the challenges we face about pursuing the diplomatic path.”
“We need to see concrete verifiable actions,” the official said.