Uncategorized US confirms Rouhani’s letter to Obama on nuke talks

US confirms Rouhani’s letter to Obama on nuke talks

President Hassan Rouhani of Iran
President Hassan Rouhani of Iran

(AA) – The White House confirmed it has received a letter from Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani addressed to U.S. President Barack Obama, ahead of a fast-approaching deadline for the ongoing talks to produce a framework for a deal on the Iranian nuclear program. 

“We have confirmed that a letter was passed to the U.S. negotiating team that was intended for President Obama and was sent by President Rouhani,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Friday, declining to give any details about content.

He noted that the White House team and the president himself are aware of the content of the letter.

Rouhani, on Thursday, reportedly sent a letter to the leaders of the P5+1 groups – the U.S., the U.K., France, China and Russia, plus Germany- about the nuclear talks.

The Iranian leader also made a series of phone conversations with Russian, Chinese, British and French leaders, to convey Tehran’s stance. 

Sharing his comments on his Twitter account, the Iranian president termed the talks as “a golden opportunity” to find a permanent solution and noted that he reiterated “the necessity to move forward based on mutual respect and equal footing.”

“It’s still, at best, 50/50,” Earnest said, with less than a week before the end of March when the parties have committed to produce a framework for a comprehensive deal.  “That’s the odds that I have previously given to the likelihood of an agreement being reached before the deadline, and those odds have not changed.”

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, Secretary of Energy Jeffrey Moniz, Undersecretary of State Wendy Sherman, alongside with the U.S. negotiating team continue to meet with members of the Iranian negotiating team in Switzerland. 

“Those meetings will continue through the weekend and it is possible those meetings could continue even into early next week,” Earnest said, noting that important progress has been made.

Iran and the P5+1 countries reached an interim agreement on Nov. 24, 2013 in Geneva, Switzerland, when Western sanctions on Iran were eased, and Iran halted some of its uranium enrichment activities.

The P5+1 group and Iran are aiming to reach a final agreement before July 1.

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