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

Video In Ukraine's Nikishino, No House Untouched by Fighting

Ninety percent of homes in one small village were damaged or destroyed as government forces failed to stop a rebel advance More

Pakistan’s 'Last Self-Declared Jew' Attacked, Detained

Argument about the rights of non-Muslims in Pakistan allegedly results in mob beating well-known Jewish Pakistani More

Turkey Cracks Down on Political Dissent, Again

People daring to engage in political dissent ahead of upcoming general elections could find themselves in jail 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.
In Their Own Words: Citizens of Kobanii
X
Mahmoud Bali
March 06, 2015 8:43 PM
Civilians are slowly returning to Kobani, after Kurdish fighters backed by coalition airstrikes fought off a four-month siege of the northern Syrian town by Islamic State militants. VOA Kurdish Service reporter Mahmoud Bali talked to some of those who have returned. We hear about the devastation of Kobani through their own words.
Video

Video In Their Own Words: Citizens of Kobani

Civilians are slowly returning to Kobani, after Kurdish fighters backed by coalition airstrikes fought off a four-month siege of the northern Syrian town by Islamic State militants. VOA Kurdish Service reporter Mahmoud Bali talked to some of those who have returned. We hear about the devastation of Kobani through their own words.
Video

Video In Ukraine's Nikishino, No House Untouched by Fighting

In the village of Nikishino, in eastern Ukraine, recent fighting has brought utter devastation. Ninety percent of the houses are damaged or destroyed after government forces tried and failed to stop rebels advancing on the strategically important town of Debaltseve nearby. Patrick Wells reports for VOA from Nikishino.
Video

Video Crime Scenes Re-Created in 3-D Visualization

Police and prosecutors sometimes resort to re-creations of crime scenes in order to better understand the interaction of all participants in complicated cases. A Swiss institute says advanced virtual reality technology can be used for quality re-creations of events at the moment of the crime. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Sierra Leone Ebola Orphans Face Another Crisis

There's growing concern about the future of an orphanage run by a British charity in Sierra Leone, after a staff member and his wife died this week from Ebola. The Saint George Foundation Orphanage in Freetown is now in quarantine, with more than 20 children and seven staff in lock-down. The BBC has agreed to share Ebola-related material with Voice of America because of the difficulties faced by media organizations reporting the crisis. Clive Myrie reports from Sierra Leone.
Video

Video Growing Concerns Over Whether Myanmar’s Next Elections Will Be Fair

Myanmar has scheduled national elections for November that are also expected to include a landmark referendum on the country's constitution. But there are growing concerns over whether the government is taking the necessary steps to prepare for a free and fair vote. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman was recently in Myanmar and files this report from our Southeast Asia bureau in Bangkok.
Video

Video Nigeria’s Ogonis Divided Over Resuming Oil Production

More than two decades ago, Nigeria’s Ogoni people forced Shell oil company to cease drilling on their land, saying it was polluting the environment. Now, some Ogonis say it’s time for the oil to flow once again. Chris Stein reports from Kegbara Dere, Nigeria.
Video

Video Fuel Shortages in Nigeria Threaten Election Campaigns

Nigeria is suffering a gas shortage as the falling oil price has affected the country’s ability to import and distribute refined fuels. Coming just weeks before scheduled March 28 elections, the shortage could have a big impact on the campaign, as Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA.
Video

Video Report: Human Rights in Annexed Crimea Deteriorating

A new report by Freedom House and the Atlantic Council of the United States says the human rights situation in Crimea has deteriorated since the peninsula was annexed by Russia in March of last year. The report says the new authorities in Crimea are discriminating against minorities, suppressing freedom of expression, and forcing residents to assume Russian citizenship or leave. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video 50 Years Later African-Americans See New Voting Rights Battles Ahead

Thousands of people will gather to mark the 50th anniversary of a historic civil rights march on March 7th in Selma, Alabama. In 1965, dozens of people were seriously injured during the event known as “Bloody Sunday,” after police attacked African-American demonstrators demanding voting rights. VOA’s Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights pioneers who are still fighting for voting rights in Alabama more than 50 years later.
Video

Video Craft Brewers Taking Hold in US Beer Market

Since the 1950’s, the U.S. beer industry has been dominated by a handful of huge breweries. But in recent years, the rapid rise of small craft breweries has changed the American market and, arguably, the way people drink beer. VOA’s Jeff Custer reports.
Video

Video Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Ukrainian Authorities Struggle to Secure a Divided Mariupol

Since last month's cease-fire went into effect, shelling around the port city of Mariupol has decreased, but it is thought pro-Russian separatists remain poised to attack. For the city’s authorities, a major challenge is gaining the trust of residents, while at the same time rooting out informants who are passing sensitive information to the rebels. Patrick Wells reports for VOA.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More