Last updated: 22 November, 2014

Iran media weighs in on nuclear deal options

Iran's press has highlighted the high stakes and potential benefits of Tehran striking a deal with world powers over its nuclear programme, as talks remain deadlocked ahead of Monday's deadline.

Kayhan, a newspaper considered close to supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said Saturday that President Hassan Rouhani’s negotiators must deliver a complete lifting of sanctions.

“Without achieving this, we will have achieved nothing,” the paper said in an uncompromising editorial.

Yet Javan, a paper seen as close to the powerful Revolutionary Guard, seemed to accept that at least some sanctions would remain.

“The remaining complications indicate that our ideal result, the complete removal of sanctions, will not be realised,” it said.

Yet “no matter what the result is, we will be the winners. We should feel defeated if we were seeking an atomic bomb and failed. We have never had this intention.”

The United States, Israel and other powers have long suspected Tehran of using its nuclear energy programme as a cover for developing a bomb, something Iran denies.

Reformist newspaper Ebtekar supported the talks Saturday, saying the need to bargain hard has led to the brinkmanship in Vienna.

“It is natural when the game is reaching its final moments for both sides to insist on maximalist demands to get maximum points or advantages.”

But “both sides should moderate their stance in order to avoid defeat in negotiations and agree on moderated demands,” it added. “In this way, they can remove forever the shadow of fear” of possible military action against Iran.

Arman, another reformist newspaper, said Vienna was the best opportunity for an agreement, given the prospects of the US Senate becoming more hardline after this month’s elections.

“If the negotiations are postponed… within the next two months the radical Republicans will try to impose new sanctions which had been prevented by the Democrats for more than a year.”

It said the two sides were “under pressure to find a solution before time runs out and not let tension and conflict replace peace, tranquility and friendship.”