News / USA

US: No Commitment to End Date for Iran Nuclear Talks

Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman (R) accompanied by Treasury Undersecretary For Terrorism And Financial Intelligence David Cohen, testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, July 29, 2014.
Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman (R) accompanied by Treasury Undersecretary For Terrorism And Financial Intelligence David Cohen, testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, July 29, 2014.
Michael Bowman

An Obama administration official has declined to commit to an absolute end date for nuclear negotiations with Iran, but says the United States remains committed to a verifiable accord preventing Tehran from building an atomic weapon.

In the Senate, lawmakers of both parties voiced strong skepticism about international talks with Iran that have been extended to November.

At a hearing Tuesday, the top Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Bob Corker, pressed for assurances that negotiations with Iran will not be extended once again.

“Is the administration in agreement that November 24 is the end of these negotiations - there will be no more extensions - that we either reach an agreement by that date or this negotiation is over?" he asked.

State Department Under Secretary for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman said she could not predict what would happen at the end of the negotiating period.

“Our intent is absolutely to end this November 24 in one direction or another.  What I can say to you is that we will consult Congress along the way,” she said.

Corker also sought assurances the administration would not weaken or waive any portion of U.S. sanctions against Iran without congressional approval.

Sherman would only commit to ample communication between the White House and lawmakers.

“You will not be surprised by reading in newspapers about decisions or judgments that we have made,” she said.

Senators of both parties said they fear Iran will drag out negotiations and ultimately achieve meaningful sanctions relief without actually dismantling its nuclear weapons-building capacity. The committee’s chairman, Democrat Robert Menendez, said he hopes talks succeed, but added:

“The Iranians have gotten us to a point that, by defying the international community, we now accept things we never would have thought acceptable: levels of [[nuclear]] enrichment, changing their [nuclear] facility, not closing their facility,” he said.

Republican Senator Ron Johnson was more blunt. He said, “Why do we continue to pretend publicly that Iran will enter some agreement where it will be [[limit itself to]] a peaceful nuclear program? That will never happen. Why to we delude ourselves?”

The State Department’s Wendy Sherman disputed the senator’s presumption, saying,“What we are trying to do is cut off every pathway to a nuclear weapon. This is about verification. This is about monitoring. This is about inspections. So this is not about trust, senator.”

Also testifying was Treasury Under Secretary David Cohen, who said Iran’s economy remains heavily burdened by international sanctions despite limited relief implemented at the onset of the talks.

You May Like

India PM Modi's Party Distances Itself From Religious Conversions

BJP under fire for being slow to rein in hardline affiliate groups allegedly trying to promote Hindu-dominant agenda by luring Muslims and Christians to convert More

Anti-Whaling Group Found in Contempt of Court

Radical environmentalists who threw acid and smoke bombs at Japanese whalers in the waters off Antarctica continue their campaign to disrupt Japan's annual whale hunt More

UN's Ban Urges End to Discrimination Against Ebola Workers

Ban was speaking in Guinea on the second day of a whistle-stop tour aimed at thanking healthcare workers of the countries at the heart of the epidemic More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: MKhattab from: USA
July 30, 2014 8:42 PM
Iran wants the negotiations to be drawn out for its own strategic reasons in the region, but has no intention of signing a permanent nuclear agreement. During the period of negotiations, Iran will use the time to appear to be cooperating with world powers as it pursues its interests in the Arab world.


by: Godwin from: Nigeria
July 30, 2014 9:47 AM
It is just as well that the Americans have seen how weakened their position to negotiate the Iran nuclear program is. Coupled with the stubborn Russia angle to the Ukrainian saga over the shooting down of the Malaysian airliner, the issue is becoming increasingly intractable. Had the matter been solved when the opportunity presented itself earlier, there would not have been no room for shifting ground to "changing... their facility, not closing their facility", The major fear is to avoid landing where NK is at the moment; that would forcefully bring back the military option to the negotiation table, whether the white house likes it or not.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid