News / Middle East

    Kerry: Challenges in Nuke Talks Are Political, Not Technical

    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry speaks at a news conference in Sharm el-Sheikh, March 14, 2015.
    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry speaks at a news conference in Sharm el-Sheikh, March 14, 2015.
    VOA News

    With another round of nuclear talks to begin this week between Washington and Tehran, the top U.S. diplomat said the obstacles to an agreement are largely political, rather than technical.

    "There are clearly some differences that still rest on a technical judgment," Secretary of State John Kerry said in Sunday on CBS television's Face the Nation program.  "But by and large, most of the differences now are political decisions ... to fulfill the promise of proving to the world that a program is peaceful."

    Kerry will meet in Switzerland with Iranian counterpart Mohammed Javad Zarif in the next round of talks on the future of Iran's nuclear program.

    Meanwhile, U.S. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell issued a statement against the talks, telling CNN President Barack Obama was on the cusp of a "very bad deal" with Tehran.

    Watch Michael Bowman's report:

    Kerry Addresses Iran Nukes as Talks Resumei
    X
    Michael Bowman
    March 15, 2015 9:32 PM
    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says the obstacles to a nuclear deal with Iran are more political than technical. Kerry spoke before heading to Switzerland to continue international negotiations over Iran’s atomic program. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, a letter by Republican senators to Iran’s leaders remains a distraction.


    Kerry said he is unsure if an open letter sent by McConnell and 46 other Republican U.S. senators last week to Iranian leaders had jeopardized the future of the ongoing talks.

    The group warned that the next U.S. president could revoke a deal at any time, a statement the secretary of state challenged.

    The United States and its partners in the P5+1 group, Britain, China, France, Russia and Germany, have an end-of-March deadline to reach a framework deal for Iran to cut back its uranium enrichment program.

    Tehran said economic sanctions must be lifted for a deal to be achieved; the country insists its nuclear program is strictly for civilian purposes.

    U.S. lawmakers who oppose the deal say Iran cannot be trusted.

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    Comments page of 2
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    by: Kim from: Canada
    March 21, 2015 7:34 AM
    Obama puts the middle east at risk, while allowing Iran spread its revolution via Iraq through Syria and Lebanon, while allowing shia militia groups like Hizbullah form in Syria and Iraq. In the meantime lifting the sanctions and allowing Iran reach nuclear power with a short break time - while signaling Saudis and Egypt to get a hold of such weapon. Obama must be stopped! Obama is dangerous to world peace.

    by: Gene from: Texas USA
    March 17, 2015 5:27 AM
    I disagree with the statement that Kerry puts forth that there is
    no military solution only a political one. That is just an excuse
    for doing nothing. Military and oppression by the Syrian
    government started the civil war in Syria and military might
    will solve it. Assad is not going to resign or agree to a political
    solution. Why should he? He is winning the war.

    The American Civil War (1861-1865) was solved by a military
    solution so why wouldn't the Syrian civil war be solved the
    same way?

    by: David Crofts from: Melbourne, Australia
    March 16, 2015 1:04 AM
    The real appeal of nuclear weapons is that they exaggerate one's weight on the world stage !!!! All countries should be treated equally simply because they are self-contained for & in the service of their own citizens !!!! Sadly, to be treated with the correct level of respect ( which only the super-powers seem to enjoy these days ) one must actually, physically and mechanically do the real work of research and development necessary to successfully build a system of nuclear defense !!!! The real issue here is, is Iran up to the test of containing such a high concentration of power within it's borders, or will Iran become dominated by some hostile element with the un-intended consequence being their own destruction and that of their more un-popular neighbors !!!!

    by: Letter Comment from: USA
    March 15, 2015 4:22 PM
    The Republican letter explicitly and definitively states that when negotiating with the US, the US can't be trusted.
    In Response

    by: Gene from: Texas USA
    March 17, 2015 5:03 AM
    Letter Comment from USA: The Republican letter states that
    any deal reached with Iran must be ratified by Congress
    or it is not legally binding. I would degree. The problem here
    is Obama is trying to by pass Congress from its Constitutional
    duty of ratifying all treaties with foreign governments.

    by: williweb from: Phoenix Arizona USA
    March 15, 2015 1:05 PM
    We are going to have to deal with these people, now rather than later. They are not going to destroy Israel or the United States because it would mean their own destruction as well (MAD). The "nuclear club" does not want any new members because eventually a country that will use them will acquire them (North Korea and Iran are two of the suspect countries).

    We cannot allow them to goad the other nuclear armed countries into a nuclear war, that we will all loose. We must have the goal of eliminating nuclear weapons completely. That process has begun but is still in its infancy. For Russia to imply that it could use its nuclear weapons is absurd. The rest of the nuclear armed countries know that also.

    by: Leslie Vomit from: Tennessee
    March 15, 2015 12:21 PM
    Ok, so everyone makes mistakes and sometimes those mistakes end up landing millions of dollars in the hands of extremists, but the important thing is to learn from such missteps and ensure that in the future, we make good decisions as it relates to covert cash transfers. Once again, here’s The Times:

    The C.I.A., meanwhile, continued dropping off bags of cash — ranging each time from a few hundred thousand dollars to more than $1 million — at the presidential palace every month until last year, when President Hamid Karzai stepped down.
    The money was used to buy the loyalty of warlords, legislators and other prominent — and potentially troublesome — Afghans, helping the palace finance a vast patronage network that secured Mr. Karzai’s power base. It was also used to cover expenses that needed to be kept off the books, such as clandestine diplomatic trips, and for more mundane costs, including rent payments for the guesthouses where some senior officials lived.
    Well, as long as someone got a rent subsidy.

    by: Mona Bottomfart from: USA
    March 15, 2015 12:18 PM
    As the US and key stakeholders in the Middle East debate the best way to leverage the fight against ISIS in the service of a larger geopolitical agenda, a NY Times piece out today serves as a reminder (in case recent events haven’t made it clear enough) of just how pervasive examples of Western foreign policy blowback have become. As The Times reports, some $1 million in cash funneled to the Afghan government by the CIA ended up in the hands of al Qaeda who, after consulting with Bin Laden, promptly used the money to purchase weapons. The CIA is REPREHENSIBLE!

    by: Gwen brewer from: usa
    March 15, 2015 12:13 PM
    i have no problem with Iran deal Look what happened n 80's when we trained Ben laden. Politicians should b limited 8yr terms no benefits. Rich/Powerful run USA
    In Response

    by: Gene from: Texas USA
    March 17, 2015 5:12 AM
    Gwen from usa: The Rich/Powerful run the USA because the
    Poor/Powerless only want to talk about civil rights and the key
    to the treasury. They could care less about the rest of us.

    Osama Bin Laden was a product of a warped ideology from
    Saudia Arabia. No training necessary.

    As for the rest of your statement, where did you get your
    training?

    by: Hassan from: Canada
    March 15, 2015 12:12 PM
    Americans still do not understand the Iranian mentality. The biggest fear the Mullahs have of the US is their removal from power. let me tell you, i have lived most of my life in Iran, if there is a counter revolution in Iran, all the Mullahs that you see here will be hanged upside down from local gas stations. The biggest fear of the Iranian clergy is "regime change" - not "sanctions"
    now that Iranian clergy know that Obama is such an incompetent, they simply do not fear - so you wait and see how belligerent the Iranian Mullahs will become in the coming years.

    by: MC from: Canada
    March 14, 2015 9:38 PM
    look, I do not believe this is an Israeli problem. Iran simply doesn't need ballistic missiles to threaten Israel. I believe ballistic missiles are designed to target Europe or America. The signal is clear from Iran... they blow up a mock Nimitz class aircraft carrier... that doesn't threaten Israel. I don't worry about the Israelis, they can take care of themselves, I worry about Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Iraq, Bahrain, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt...
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