In advance of the latest deadline, on 24 November, for a comprehensive agreement on Iran’s nuclear programme, The Elders urge all parties to the negotiations to make the essential compromises necessary for an historic outcome that will make the world a safer place.
Kofi Annan, Chair of The Elders and former UN Secretary-General, said:
“Over the past months, the progress that Iran and the six world powers (P5+1) have made on issues that originally seemed insoluble has been remarkable. All sides have shown considerable flexibility to make this progress possible.
“After so much hard work, it would be a lost opportunity of historic proportions if they could not complete the last uphill stretch on the road to a positive outcome – in the form of a comprehensive agreement on 24 November.”
Martti Ahtisaari, Nobel Peace Laureate and former President of Finland, added:
“A nuclear agreement is a first step in the efforts to find solutions to the problems in the Middle East. It will offer an opportunity for positive peaceful developments in regional conflicts.”
However, Ernesto Zedillo, former President of Mexico, warned:
“The sanctions regime against Iran will need to be addressed quickly, and with a high sense of responsibility by all concerned. The long-suffering Iranian people and business sector deserve the relief from sanctions that a comprehensive agreement should bring. The sanctions have hurt ordinary people without damaging the interests of those who hold power.
“At the same time, Iran needs to persist in fulfilling all the commitments it makes to transparency and accountability: with nuclear rights come nuclear responsibilities.”
The Elders stress that such a rare opportunity to promote peace and understanding must not be missed.