France, Iran trade barbs, tempering hopes of nuclear deal

France and Iran traded tough words on Thursday before major powers began to negotiate the details of a preliminary accord to curb Tehran’s nuclear program with Paris warning the West had to remain firm and Tehran deploring a loss of trust. Each side appeared to be tempering anticipation of an imminent agreement after the United States, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany came close to winning concessions from Tehran in the last round of negotiations two weeks ago. Policymakers from the six governments have said an interim accord on confidence-building steps could be within reach to defuse a decade-old stand-off and dispel the specter of a wider Middle East war over the Islamic Republic’s nuclear ambitions. But before negotiations began in earnest on Thursday, France and Iran stepped up the rhetoric. French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, who spoke out against a draft deal floated at the […]

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