UN chief urges all parties to compromise in Iran nuclear talks


UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Thursday urged all parties in nuclear talks between Iran and six world powers to show flexibility in order to finally resolve a 12-year dispute over Tehran’s atomic program.

The negotiations, under way in Vienna, are deadlocked, officials say, and will probably have to be extended due to a number of sticking points, such as limits on Iran’s uranium enrichment and the speed at which sanctions on Tehran would be lifted.

“The Secretary-General calls on all participants to demonstrate the necessary flexibility, wisdom and determination to bring the negotiations to a successful conclusion that meets the concerns and interests of all sides,” Ban’s press office said in a statement.

“He is convinced that such an accord can contribute to the strengthening of regional and international peace and security at a time when global cooperation is needed perhaps more than ever,” the statement said, adding that Ban hoped a deal would “restore confidence in the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear program.”

Tehran denies allegations from Western powers and their allies that it is amassing the capability to produce nuclear weapons under cover of a civilian energy program. It has refused to halt uranium enrichment, leading to crippling international sanctions.French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius and his US counterpart, Secretary of State John Kerry, acknowledged on Thursday there was some way to go in the negotiations between Iran, the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China to iron out differences with Iran.