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Negotiations Stall With Iran; Experts Weigh In

Negotiations Stall With Iran; Experts Weigh In

Negotiations between the United States, joined by its P5+1 partners, and Iran to reach a deal over the Islamic Republic's nuclear program hit a snag on Friday. The agreement would offer Iran sanctions relief in exchange for limits on and international oversight over its nuclear pursuits.

In a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif accused the U.S. of shifting its demands, dismissing claims that the Americans could be ready to walk away from the table.

Diplomats were forced to extend the original June 30 deadline for a third time, until Monday.

Iranian-born Fari Hamzei, founder of Hamzei Analytics, thinks that this is all part of the negotiating process, telling Benzinga, "It's probably going to work out, but not on your time schedule."

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Adam Sarhan, CEO of Sarhan Capital, however, isn't so optimistic. "I don't think a deal is going to get done...their interests aren't aligned," he said.

According to Sarhan, while the two parties may seem to want the same things, their intentions actually diverge enough to make an agreement unlikely. "Iran wants to go southwest, and western powers want to go northwest," he said.

Chris Temple, Editor of the National Investor, told Benzinga that if the two sides aren't able to come to terms, it would theoretically "shore up oil prices. Iran has that floating storage of oil that it will probably push back into the glut if a deal goes through."

But Sarhan disagreed, highlighting low global demand. "Every commodity besides gold and cattle" is down for the year, he said.

Regardless of what happens with oil, Hamzei said defense companies could benefit from a hang-up in Vienna. He listed Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) and Lockheed Martin Corporation (NYSE: LMT) as companies to consider.

Markets aside, however, Temple acknowledged the potential political consequences of the negotiation process.

"The chances of a Republican president [in 2016] go up every day," as the talks give fodder to critics of the sitting Democratic president. "He's damned [either way]," according to Temple. He'll be attacked for being soft on an autocratic Middle Eastern hegemony if a deal goes through, Temple continued, and he'll be criticized for wasting time and energy if the discussions end in disappointment.

The development of talks with Iran will thus be an important process to follow for investors and political junkies alike.


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