US President Barack Obama and his Secretary of State John Kerry were hard at work this week urging US senators to hold back on plans to impose further sanctions on Iran, just days after an anticipated agreement over Iran’s nuclear program failed to materialize at talks between Iran and the P5+1 last week.

Negotiations seemed to collapse late in the day on 9 November, as clear divisions emerged among the six world powers (the five members of the UN Security Council, plus Germany) over Iran’s resolute insistence on the formal recognition of its “right” to enrich uranium. The US and its three European allies reportedly haggled over the language to be used in any agreement, with many diplomats suggesting just a few words were what separated the two sides. EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton acknowledged as much, telling a press conference at the conclusion of the talks that there had been “concrete progress” in Geneva, though “some differences remain.” (CONTINUED - 936 WORDS)