News / Middle East

US, Iran Push to Meet Deadline on Nuclear Deal

US, Iran Push to Meet Deadline on Nuclear Deali
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May 30, 2014 8:43 PM
International efforts to limit Iran's nuclear program have entered a new phase with the outline of what a final agreement might look like. But talks could drag on beyond July's deadline, adding to pressure on both Washington and Tehran. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports.
International efforts to limit Iran's nuclear program have entered a new phase with the outline of what a final agreement might look like. But talks could drag on beyond July's deadline, adding to pressure on both Washington and Tehran.

Getting Iran to talks to limit its nuclear program is one of the biggest foreign policy accomplishments of the Obama administration, an opportunity that the president says shows the strength of international resolve.

"The odds of success are still long, and we reserve all options to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon," said President Barack Obama. "But for the first time in a decade, we have a very real chance of achieving a breakthrough agreement - one that is more effective and durable than what would be achieved through the use of force."

Talks in Vienna have made progress, but there is not yet agreement on lifting some sanctions in exchange for Iran rolling back parts of its nuclear program.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says there is no rush.

"If some countries behind the scenes who want to create problems are not given a chance to sabotage talks, then we have enough time to achieve the ultimate success," he said. "[If] we don't come to an agreement by that deadline, we can extend that interim agreement for another six months.  But I think it will be done by the proper time."

Extending talks could be a problem for Obama as some of his political opponents want new sanctions against Iran.

"I think if we hear from those talks that they need another six months that's pretty bad news because it will be very difficult for President Obama to deal with the Congress during mid-term elections when the Republicans are now favored to even take the Senate," said American University professor Hillary Mann Leverett.

The president could keep working around Congress with six-month waivers on some sanctions, but Leverett says Iran is holding out for more.

"The Iranian aim is to get investment into oil and gas," Leverett continued. "These are 10-year projects at the very minimum. You can't really do it six months, six months, six months. So I think the Obama administration is now realizing that, to get the deal that it wants, it really may need to go to Congress to lift the sanctions."

The Iran nuclear deal may be less of a political issue if talks are extended while Congress is out of session. Former U.S. ambassador Adam Ereli says the timetable favors the president.

"The politics constraining Obama are much less onerous or much less of an obstacle than the politics constraining the Iranian negotiators," he said.

At a time when many Iranians want Rouhani to get sanctions lifted to improve the economy, Ereli says Tehran's nuclear negotiators are under pressure from hardliners who want to maintain the threat.

"If they don't come up with a deal, or if what they are proposing is too much for their political rivals in Iran, then they could find themselves facing a backlash as well," he said. "So again, I think it works both ways on this."

Throughout these talks, the Obama administration must also continue to reassure Israel that Washington will not allow Tehran to develop a nuclear weapon.

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by: Leroy Padmore from: Jersey City
June 01, 2014 12:26 AM
The U.S needs to sent a clear message to Tehran, Stop this enrichment, and the ambition of a nuclear bomb, or else we will come for you. The more we delay, it is very dangerous for our society. The Obama administration needs to re look at her foreign policy when it comes to Tehran. Because Tehran wont stop until she get this weapon. She has an interior motive. The U.S needs to put every rules and regular on her table that Tehran must follow. Or else she should face the sequences from the U.S. Tehran is an enemy to herself, an enemy to progress, an enemy to the world,and a big embarrassment to society. Those people are very violent such of people, all you hear from them is, killing, or they are planning to kill someone. What are some of the impact that Tehran has on the world? nothing but destruction. We don't need these kind of people in society. Mr. Rouhani cannot be trusted. He is an enemy to the U.S. I don't care what he say, you mark my word. They are our enemy. It is time that we point out the truth. Those people don't like the U.S God Bless America


by: Leroy Padmore from: Jersey City
May 31, 2014 9:39 PM
The fact that Tehran doesn't have the fear of America, and to patrolled our international sea, it is an act of war. We cannot be in denied of this. we are delaying the whole process when it comes to Tehran nuclear ambition. Those people are working overtime to get the bomb, why we are sleeping. This is about the U.S. interest now, and we must act on it before it gets too late. Tehran must be stop. you cannot trust those people. No way,mm mm mmm. Tehran needs to be stop. The U.S should not lift up the sanction, it will give Tehran the upper hand to do their arms business, to sell arms to the third world countries.
The U.S needs to be on top of things, the ways those people expressed their hatred for the U.S ain't no way the U.S. should trust these people. It is time that the U.S. learn from Israel. you cannot be comfortable with those people.No no no. Those people had made it cleared to the world that they want to destroy America and Israel. And I strongly believed if we don't act, we will regret this negotiation. Those people are hypocrites. you cannot trust them. God Bless America


by: Leroy Padmore from: Jersey City
May 31, 2014 8:20 PM
The Obama Administration needs to understand that Tehran has made her intention very cleared on her state media and international media. All you hear from Tehran is death to America, Death to Israel. And they are not plating, they are very serious.
Mr. Rouhani worked for the Ahmadinejad administration, and all you heard from him was threats to America. We cannot trust this man. He is a wolf in sheep clothing.
In his administration, the Iranian navy vessel was patrolling our international sea, it this the man President Obama wants to trust? This man has an interior motive, and his primary motive is to destroy the U.S. and Israel, to bring them to their knees. The Obama Administration needs to tightening up a little bit. you cannot sleep on Iran son. Iran must be stop. Those people hate the U.S. and Israel. Those are very dangerous people. God Bless America


by: Anonymous
May 30, 2014 10:33 PM
Iran has no interest in nuclear deal that compromises their nuclear infrastructure. Current talks stalled because Iran is demanding an additional 30,000 next generation centrifuges to make enriched uranium fuel even though West wants them to reduce their current 19,000 older centrifuges. Talks are only aimed to get relief from sanctions so they will have more oil money to fund their costly nuclear program and foreign war efforts in Syria.

Iran can’t be trusted. Record executions including women and children since President Rouhani took over (700 and counting by Amnesty International). Arrests Happy video. Blocking of social media. Prison for Christians and gays. Abuse of women. Beating and torture of prisoners in Evin Prison. We should trust these guys?

In Response

by: Godwin from: Nigeria
May 31, 2014 9:50 AM
Never trust Iran, it is suicidal. But seems Obama thinks he has something to achieve by opening up diplomatic relations with Iran. This is another expression of weakness of the Obama administration. The US shouldn't grovel to anyone, not Iran ever!

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