nuclear negotiations

People celebrate in northern Tehran after the announcement of an agreement on Iran nuclear talks  © Getty Images

There was a presidential statement in the Rose Garden of the White House. There were joyous celebrations on the streets of Tehran. There were lamentations in the US Senate. All these events were provoked by the news, earlier this month, of a framework nuclear deal between Iran and the US. Three weeks later, the newspapers are still full of critiques of the agreement.

But all of this fuss disguises an awkward fact. There is no Iran nuclear deal. Read more

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif attends a press conference after two days of nuclear talks in Geneva.

Iran and world powers are still a long way from agreeing a deal to allay global fears about the Iranian nuclear programme. But something has started to happen at this week’s negotiations in Geneva that may significantly improve the chances of a pact.

For the first time, the US and the west have started to explore what the “end state” of the Iranian programme should be – in other words what kind of nuclear facilities the US and its allies will allow Iran to retain over the very long term. Read more