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US, Iran need to contain war of words

With talks beginning in Vienna on Feb. 18 , on a comprehensive nuclear agreement, rhetoric on both sides can make the already difficult compromises that much harder.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry addresses a news conference after the Geneva-2 peace talks in Montreux January 22, 2014. Kerry on Wednesday left the door open for Iran to participate in Syrian peace talks, saying Tehran could make a difference in ending the conflict. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann (SWITZERLAND - Tags: CIVIL UNREST POLITICS CONFLICT TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY) - RTX17Q69
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Building on the November 2013 Geneva interim agreement between Iran and the P5+1, aimed at reaching a “comprehensive solution” to bring the crisis over Iran’s nuclear program to a peaceful end, negotiators are scheduled to resume talks in Vienna on Feb. 18-19. However, a recent barrage of verbal attacks by high-ranking Iranian military and political officials, including Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, in response to the repeated US use of the “all options are on the table” mantra, perhaps more palpable on the Iranian side, may have already hardened the two sides’ positions before the new round of talks has even begun.

The new round of US threats started with US Secretary of State John Kerry’s statements on Jan. 23 in his interview with Al Arabiya. If Iran does not meet the commitments it has made with the P5+1, “the military option of the United States is ready and prepared to do what it would have to do,” Kerry remarked.

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