News / Middle East

Obama: Significant Gaps Remain with Iran on Nukes

FILE - Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (L) meets with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (R) at talks between the foreign ministers of the six powers negotiating with Tehran on its nuclear program in Vienna, July 13, 2014.
FILE - Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (L) meets with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (R) at talks between the foreign ministers of the six powers negotiating with Tehran on its nuclear program in Vienna, July 13, 2014.
VOA News

U.S. President Barack Obama says it has not yet been determined if nuclear talks with Iran will be extended beyond Sunday's deadline for a deal.

Obama said Wednesday that real progress has been made, but there are still significant gaps as the deadline approaches.

He said discussions with Iran and consultations with Congress will continue as the United States and its partners determine if more time is needed.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said this week that the process is worth continuing.  The foreign minister said he is sure U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will make the same recommendation.

An interim deal for Iran to curb its uranium enrichment in exchange for an easing of sanctions expires July 20.  Diplomats from Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia, and the U.S. have been working with Iran on a longer term deal.

White House Secretary Josh Earnest said "Iran's track record over the last six months has been surprisingly favorable." But he echoed Secretary of State John Kerry's sentiment that a number of gaps remain before diplomats from Tehran and world powers can reach a deal.

A Western diplomat says it is highly improbable a deal can be reached by Sunday and that the talks would continue over the coming months.

The U.S. suspects Iran of trying to build a nuclear weapon.  Iran insists its nuclear program is strictly for peaceful purposes.



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Comment Sorting
by: Godwin from: Nigeria
July 17, 2014 1:38 PM
Yeah..., weak, weak, weak, nothing but weakness asking to continue negotiations while Iran continues to work on its nuclear project until a bomb or war head is achieved. Then it will be the case of another rogue regime possessing nuclear bomb with which to hold the world's jugular. I think Africans everywhere should be hiding their faces for making a weak showing at the white house. What is so difficult to say about whether Iran is agreeing to hands-off nuclear bomb or to continue defying the world order of non-proliferation the way NK has done? What is so difficult to see that Rouhani is merely taking advantage of a weak leadership over there to project Ayatollah Ali Khamenei as the strong force to contend with in world diplomacy of power?

It's simply the calculation of what is on the table and what is not, manipulated from Tehran that accounts for the lull while Iran buys time enough to achieve what it wants. In the mean time three names of strong men stand out in the world of power - Putin, Khamenei and Xi. I am sure names like Merkel and Hollande may also rate higher when it comes to who is who in the popularity and power ladder in the world of today - regarding who would have been there and Tehran would concur with immediate effect to what the group wants - stop nuclear enrichment in Iran.

by: ali baba from: new york
July 17, 2014 5:03 AM
Iran is playing game to get more time until produces Nuclear Bomb.. the hope that talk and negotiation will achieve positive results is not existed. they are playing double standard . How many years Iranian are playing game. once Iran posses Nuclear bomb, the situation in middle east will explode . The conflict between Sunni and Shia. The ideology conflict is deep and they hate each other . The conflict between Israeli and Palestine has no solution. Both side are stubborn and never will set the difference. If Iranian has Nuclear bomb, the nuclear war in middle East will be a real possibility. at that time ,Obama is retiring and left the world in chaos for unwise decision

by: 1worldnow from: Earth
July 17, 2014 3:37 AM
Hehehe, you can't help but to like this guy, Obama. Man! He likes to talk, doesn't he? Significant gaps? So funny. If a deal isn't reached by Sunday, I bet nobody in this forum understands the severity of the situation, if this deal doesn't happen on Sunday.

This is serious! I cannot stress that enough. Because this means that Obama.................................

will be golfing on Monday, taking selfies on Tuesday, and talking some more on Wednesday............................

Iran couldn't have asked for a better president than this guy. Think abou it: As soon as Reagan won the election over Jimmy Carter, Iran released the hostages! As soon as Obama won the election over McCain, Iran began it's enrichment program!!!!!!

Don't despair people, especially you Democratic, Obama worshipping, anti-American nutcases, Meanbillygoat will be here soon to talk about "WISE MAN SAID IT" and unequal treaties, and a bunch of utter nonsense!!!

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