News / USA

    VOA Exclusive: US Negotiator Cites Progress in Iran Nuclear Talks

    PNN Interview with U.S. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Shermani
    September 25, 2014 10:15 PM
    The chief U.S. negotiator at nuclear talks with Iran said in an exclusive interview with VOA’s Persian Service on Thursday that optimism for a final deal remains.
    Watch full interview with U.S. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman, Sept. 25, 2014.
    VOA News

    The chief U.S. negotiator at nuclear talks with Iran said in an exclusive interview with VOA’s Persian Service on Thursday that optimism for a final deal remains. 

    “I believe we are making progress,”  Wendy Sherman said, referring to the last round of talks on Tehran’s nuclear program currently underway in New York – and coinciding with the United Nations General Assembly annual meeting.

    “That said, there are still some very crucial decisions that need to be made,” she noted.

    Negotiators from the so-called P5+1 and Iran are trying to meet a November 24 deadline to secure what would be a landmark nuclear agreement.

    “This is a very, very complicated negotiation, very technically detailed,” she said. “I think we have made progress while we’ve been here during the U.N. General Assembly and many leaders and virtually every foreign minister of the P5+1 has had a bilateral with Iran, and it has helped to improve our understanding.”

    And mutual understanding between the United States and Iran, Sherman said, is critical.

    “We each are going to have to make changes in the way that we deal with each other,” Sherman said. “We have simple objectives. The entire P5+1 has simple objectives… we want to make sure that Iran does not acquire nuclear weapons.”

    The exact nature of the talks is unclear, but Sherman said talks with her Iranian counterparts boil down to only two things.

    “One of course is the nuclear negotiations, that is central to all of our discussions,” she explained.  “The other is our American citizens who are detained in Iran."

    Jason Rezaian, who is a Washington Post reporter and his wife, are detained. We have no idea why,” she said, adding that Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Iran’s foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif are “very adept” at using the American free press.

    “And yet a journalist, an American journalist of a very large newspaper in our country is being detained for no reason,” she said. “We have American citizens – Amir Hekmati and Pastor Abedini – who have been in Iran for a very long time and we really hoped that there would be some humanitarian gestures when President Rouhani came to the United States.”

    The Iranian president made mention of the nuclear talks during his Thursday address at the United Nations, saying "No one should doubt that compromise and agreement on this issue is in the best interest of everyone especially that of the nations of the region.”

    Rouhani also made reference to crippling sanctions imposed by the United States and Europe.

    “The ‘will of our people’ put negotiations with Western powers back on the agenda, and not sanctions and threats,” he said.

    During her VOA interview, Sherman said lifting sanctions will be a boon for Iran.

    “I have to tell you as soon as we suspend our major sanctions – which will happen very early in the agreement – the world will flood into Iran,” she said. “Many international delegations have already been to Iran and so they will begin to see what they can do. It will be important to show that the agreement is durable, that it will last over a period of many years because we have a long history here that we are trying to solve.

    As for media speculation about a face to face meeting between President Barack Obama and the Iranian leader on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly – or even a phone call, like the one last year that opened the way for talks  – Sherman was clear.

    What’s needed right now is a negotiation that works through the details and for the leaders to make the decisions they need to ensure the international community that Iran’s nuclear program is exclusively peaceful."

    You May Like

    Can EU Survive a Brexit?

    Across Europe politicians are asking if the British vote to leave the European Union will set in motion dynamics that will see other member states leave too

    Video Entrepreneurs at Global Summit Tackle Range of Challenges

    Innovators strive to halt sexual harassment in India, improve rural health in Myanmar, build businesses in Africa

    Key African Anti-Venom About to Permanently Run Out

    The tale of Fav-Afrique’s demise is a complicated one that reflects a deeper crisis brewing in global public health

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    by: WorldView from: USA
    September 27, 2014 1:47 PM
    Wendy Sherman is talking nonsense when she talks about human rights. The U.S. violates human right regularly. It has kidnapped various people including Iranians and has tortured them. As for Levinson, he was a CIA agent and apparently there is evidence that he is not in Iran.

    As for the nuclear issue, it is time to end this farce. The U.S. has to stop its ridiculous demands. There is not a shred of evidence that Iran has ever attempted to develop nuclear weapons. All sanctions on Iran should be removed and Iran should be treated like any other country that is a signatory of NPT. Who is the U.S. to DEMAND a "very limited" enrichment capability?

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Britain’s Vote to Leave EU Sends Shockwaves Through Global Marketsi
    June 24, 2016 10:43 AM
    Britain’s historic decision to leave the European Union is sending shockwaves through global markets. Markets from Tokyo to Europe tumbled Friday under the uncertainty the ballot brings, while regional leaders in Asia took steps to limit the possible fallout. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.

    Video Britain’s Vote to Leave EU Sends Shockwaves Through Global Markets

    Britain’s historic decision to leave the European Union is sending shockwaves through global markets. Markets from Tokyo to Europe tumbled Friday under the uncertainty the ballot brings, while regional leaders in Asia took steps to limit the possible fallout. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Video During Ramadan, Faith and Football Converge in Lebanon’s Megadome

    In Beirut, a group of young entrepreneurs has combined its Muslim faith and love of football to create the city's newest landmark: a large, Ramadan-ready dome primed for one of the biggest football (soccer) tournaments in the world. But as the faithful embrace the communal spirit of Islam’s holy month, it is not just those breaking their fasts that are welcome.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora