Iran's hardline media slam nuclear talks extension

Iran's hardline media slam nuclear talks extension

TEHRAN - Iran's media were deeply split Tuesday on the merit of extending nuclear talks with the West, with conservative newspapers slamming the move as reformist outlets said progress had been made.

Vatan-e-Emrooz, a hardline broadsheet title, headlined its front page "Nothing" -- and beneath the fold had only empty white space.

"A year has passed since the Geneva accord. Nuclear negotiations for the removal of sanctions did not reach a result," the newspaper said, announcing the seven-month extension in talks to its readers.

"This is to cover up that negotiations in fact failed because of America's excessive demands," a downbeat front-page editorial added.

Siasate-e Rooz, another hardline title, was similarly pessimistic.

"Americans, despite announcing in their media that they want a deal, in fact do not believe in reaching a nuclear agreement with the Islamic Republic of Iran and have never taken any steps to achieve this result," its front-page editorial said.

However, President Hassan Rouhani, who on Monday said a nuclear deal with the West would be done despite missing the deadline in Vienna, received support from more moderate titles.

"A major change took place in the past 15 months... the victory of realism, rationality and pragmatism," the reformist Shargh newspaper said.

"These negotiations showed that neither is Iran 'the axis of evil' that the Americans imagined and tried to make the world believe, and nor does America have unresolvable conflicts with Iran as many said," it added.

Iran, considered the mouthpiece of Rouhani's government, said: "The result of this exciting competition was a draw. It may not have satisfied spectators, but the teams taking part expressed satisfaction with the result."

The overall tone was pessimistic, however, with most newspapers taking a sceptical view of the talks extension.

Javan, a newspaper with close links to Iran's powerful Revolutionary Guards, headlined its front-page report: "Seven months of artificial respiration to nuclear diplomacy."

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