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

Unpaid Kurdish Fighters Sign of Economic Woes

Sharp cuts in Kurdistan's budget by Baghdad, falling oil revenue, coping with refugees, inflated public sector have hit regional economy hard More

Koreas Exchange List of Envoys for Family Reunion Talks

Officials will discuss date, venue and number of participants for reunion; Seoul hopes to hold event late this month More

China Targets 197 in Online Speech Crackdown

Nearly 200 punished for 'spreading rumors' online in ongoing crackdown on free speech 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.
Calais School Offers Another Face of Europe’s Migrant Crisisi
X
Lisa Bryant
September 02, 2015 6:19 PM
Europe is facing mounting criticism over how it’s handling its biggest migration crisis since World War II. But not all Europeans believe building walls or passing repressive policies are the answer. A school for migrants in the French port city of Calais, is opening doors and building bonds across nationalities. VOA's Lisa Bryant reports.
Video

Video Calais School Offers Another Face of Europe’s Migrant Crisis

Europe is facing mounting criticism over how it’s handling its biggest migration crisis since World War II. But not all Europeans believe building walls or passing repressive policies are the answer. A school for migrants in the French port city of Calais, is opening doors and building bonds across nationalities. VOA's Lisa Bryant reports.
Video

Video Russia-Japan Relations Cool as Putin Visits China for WWII Anniversary

Russian President Vladimir Putin is in Beijing for commemorations of the 70th anniversary of China's WWII victory over Japan. Putin is expected to visit Japan later this year, but tensions between Tokyo and Moscow over islands disputed since the war, and sanctions over Ukraine, could pour cold water on the plan. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Kurdish Fighters on IS Frontline Ready for Offensive

Finger on the trigger, the Kurdish Peshmerga soldier stared across the dust at a village taken over by Islamic State extremists. The Kurdistan’s Khazir frontline, just 45 minutes from the Islamic State stronghold of Mosul. And at this point, the militants were less than two kilometers away. VOA's Sharon Behn reports.
Video

Video Yemen ‘on Brink of Disaster’ as Medical Shortages Soar

Aid agencies warn Yemen is on the brink of humanitarian disaster – with up to half a million children facing severe malnutrition, and hospitals running out of basic medicines. There are fears Yemen's civil war could escalate as the coalition led by Saudi Arabia tries to drive back Houthi rebels, who seized control of much of the country earlier this year. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Apps Helping Kenyan Businesses Stay Ahead of Counterfeiters

Counterfeit goods in Kenya cost the government as much as $1 billion each year in lost tax revenues. The fake goods also hurt entrepreneurs who find it hard to carve out a niche in the market and retain customers. But as Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi, information technology is being used to try to beat the problem.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.

VOA Blogs