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AIPAC rues added relief for Iran in talks extension

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WASHINGTON (JTA) — AIPAC said it was “deeply disappointed” in the terms extending the Iran nuclear talks for four months.

“Despite our support for talks, we note that Tehran has yet to indicate a willingness to dismantle any element of its nuclear infrastructure,” the pro-Israel lobby said in a statement Monday in response to the extension of the July 20 deadline to Nov. 24 announced Friday.

“We are concerned that rather than coming into compliance with U.N. Security Council resolutions, Iran will try to use the recently announced extension of talks to break the international coalition and advance its nuclear weapons program,” the statement said. “We are deeply disappointed that the P5+1 has offered even more economic relief to Iran.”

The P5+1 refers to Russia, the United States, China, Britain, France and Germany, the major powers negotiating with Iran since January to come up with a long-term sanctions relief for nuclear rollback formula.

“Economic pressure brought Tehran to the negotiating table, and increased pressure is critical to any reasonable prospect for reaching a good agreement,” the American Israel Public Affairs Committee said.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Iran has abided by the terms of the interim nuclear rollback governing the talks but gaps remain.

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif has suggested that the gaps are over the means by which Iran reduces its uranium enrichment capacity.

Iran seeks to keep its centrifuges while subjecting them to an inspections regimen. The United States wants Iran to dismantle a majority of the centrifuges and impose a tough inspections regimen on those remaining. Israel says the centrifuges should be totally dismantled.

Kerry also said there would be $2.8 billion in sanctions relief during the next four months in addition to the $4 billion to $7 billion under the formula governing the current talks.

Obama administration officials have said the effect of the interim sanctions rollbacks have been negligible and that Iran’s economy continues to suffer from sanctions.

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