Envoys at Iran nuclear talks try to chip away at differences over enrichment, sanctions relief

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Associated Press

Posted on November 21, 2013 at 10:03 PM

Updated Friday, Nov 22 at 12:04 AM

GENEVA (AP) — Nuclear negotiators are trying to fine-tune a draft agreement with Iran that would limit its atomic program in return for easing some sanctions.

Iran's ability to produce nuclear fuel and relief for Iran's oil and banking sectors appear to be among the sticking points. Participants at the talks in Geneva refuse to spell out what is standing in the way of a deal. But Iranian statements and remarks from Western officials suggest they included finding mutually acceptable language on whether Iran has a right to enrich uranium, a technology that can produce both reactor fuel and nuclear warhead material.

Sanctions relief is also an issue. The U.S. and its allies are insisting the most severe penalties on Iran's oil exports and banking sector will remain until a comprehensive deal is reached on minimizing Tehran's nuclear arms-making capacity.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Senate appears to be putting a deadline on the talks. Majority Leader Harry Reid says the Senate will move forward with new sanctions after returning from a two-week recess in December.

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236-a-14-(Michael Mann, spokesman for European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, with reporters)-"sanctions will remain"-European Union spokesman Michael Mann says sanctions won't be lifted before Iran commits to key points regarding its nuclear program. (21 Nov 2013)

<<CUT *236 (11/21/13)££ 00:14 "sanctions wil remain"

235-a-13-(Michael Mann, spokesman for European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, with reporters)-"the last round"-European Union spokesman Michael Mann says EU diplomat Catherine Ashton and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif spent time today trying to rebuild trust. ((Javad Zarif is pronounced zhuh-VAHD' zah-REEF')) (21 Nov 2013)

<<CUT *235 (11/21/13)££ 00:13 "the last round"

APPHOTO GE202: Swiss police officers control the area in front of the Intercontinental hotel where closed-door nuclear talks on Iran's nuclear program are taking place in Geneva Switzerland, Thursday, Nov. 21, 2013. (AP Photo/Keystone,Martial Trezzini) (21 Nov 2013)

<<APPHOTO GE202 (11/21/13)££

APPHOTO CAI114: FILE - This file image released by ISIS, commercial satellite imagery from Dec. 9, 2012, shows ongoing construction, a new security perimeter, and new roofing on the two major buildings at the site. Seven-nation talks on a deal meant to start a rollback of Iran's nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief were delayed Thursday, Nov. 21, 2013, as senior envoys from both sides wrestled with a draft they hoped would be acceptable to both Tehran and its six world powers negotiating with it. (AP Photo/ISIS, File) (21 Nov 2013)

<<APPHOTO CAI114 (11/21/13)££

APPHOTO CAI113: FILE - In this Feb. 15, 2012, file photo, provided by the Iranian President's Office, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, right, is escorted by technicians during a tour of Tehran's research reactor center in northern Tehran, Iran. Seven-nation talks on a deal meant to start a rollback of Iran's nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief were delayed Thursday, Nov. 21, 2013, as senior envoys from both sides wrestled with a draft they hoped would be acceptable to both Tehran and its six world powers negotiating with it. (AP Photo/Iranian President's Office, File) (21 Nov 2013)

<<APPHOTO CAI113 (11/21/13)££

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