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‘The only game in town’: Progress seen in French initiative for US-Iran talks

A French initiative to de-escalate US-Iran tensions has developed a framework for broader talks to resolve regional tensions.
A staff member removes the Iranian flag from the stage after a group picture with foreign ministers and representatives of the U.S., Iran, China, Russia, Britain, Germany, France and the European Union during the Iran nuclear talks at the Vienna International Center in Vienna, Austria July 14, 2015. To match Analysis USA-ELECTION/IRAN      REUTERS/Carlos Barria/File Photo - S1AEULVWKDAA

WASHINGTON — Even though the Iranian and US presidents did not meet or share a phone call during the UN General Assembly meetings in New York last month, the French say that important progress has been made on a substantive framework for possible talks, and it is largely a matter of sequencing — and overcoming mistrust — to see if the parties can get to the table.

“The conditions to start those discussions were there,” a French diplomat, speaking not for attribution, told Al-Monitor. “One key issue is sequencing though, and there is probably a problem of trust.”

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