Skip Navigation

Close and don't show again.

Your browser is out of date.

You may not get the full experience here on National Journal.

Please upgrade your browser to any of the following supported browsers:

Iranian Official Blames Senate's Sanctions Threats for Hurting Nuclear Negotiations Iranian Official Blames Senate's Sanctions Threats for Hurting Nuclear...

This ad will end in seconds
 
Close X

Not a member? Learn More »

Forget Your Password?

Don't have an account? Register »

Reveal Navigation
 

 

Defense

Iranian Official Blames Senate's Sanctions Threats for Hurting Nuclear Negotiations

The country’s foreign minister said a final agreement could pave the way for cooperation in other areas.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and Secretary of State John Kerry helped negotiate an interim agreement last year.(Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Image)

photo of Jordain Carney
February 18, 2014

Congress's battle over increasing sanctions against Iran has caused "a great deal of concern" for Iranians, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Tuesday, but he stressed that negotiations are the only way forward for both sides.

"From an Iranian perspective … what has happened in the last two months has been less than encouraging," Zarif said, speaking at a University of Denver event via webcast from Vienna.

Zarif met with Catherine Ashton, the European Union's foreign policy chief, in Vienna on Tuesday, to kick off formal talks over reaching a long-term deal on Iran's nuclear program. Ashton is representing the United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Russia, and China during the talks.

 

He stressed that "statements cannot be limited to one audience," referring to the back-and-forth between U.S. and Iranian officials who have often accused one another of saying one thing during private negotiations and another thing when speaking to a domestic audience.

But the Iranian official said the West and Iran share the common goal of making sure Iran's nuclear program is purely peaceful. He stressed that Iran is at the negotiating table "because of a single overriding fact, and that is, we have no other option. If you want to resolve this issue, the only way to resolve it is through negotiations."

And while he acknowledged that the sanctions targeting the country have crippled its economy, Zarif added that "if the intention was to stop the Iranian nuclear program, the policy has miserably failed."

Under an interim agreement diplomats reached in November, officials have until late July to agree on a long-term deal, but Zarif dismissed a specific time frame, noting that "there is no end date" because of the "common objective" the countries have.

Although the six-month period can be extended, Zarif said he is hopeful a final agreement can be reached by the July 20 deadline, but that it would take more than "one or two sittings".

Zarif largely sidestepped what other topics Iran and the West could tackle if a long-term agreement is reached, saying that he is "realistic enough to focus on this particular project," but he did suggest that the two sides could cooperate on a rise in extremism.

LIKE THIS STORY? Sign up for Early Bird

Sign up for our daily newsletter and stay on top of defense coverage.

Sign up form for Early Bird
Job Board
Search Jobs
Biomedical Service Internship Position
American Society of Civil Engineers | Flint, MI
Fire Sprinkler Inspector
American Society of Civil Engineers | Charlotte, NC
Professional Development Program Engineer
American Society of Civil Engineers | Farmington Hills, MI
Deputy Director of Transit Operations
American Society of Civil Engineers | San Jose, CA
Transportation Planner
American Society of Civil Engineers | Salinas, CA
Assistant Professor - Water Resources/Ecological Engineering
American Society of Civil Engineers | Auburn, AL
Product Manager - Chemical Development and Supply - Tulsa, OK
American Society of Civil Engineers | Tulsa, OK
Commissioning Intern
American Society of Civil Engineers | Chicago, IL
Assessment and Remediation Team Lead
American Society of Civil Engineers | Regina, SK
Business Development Manager
American Society of Civil Engineers
Sr. Controls Systems Engineer
American Society of Civil Engineers | Grand Island, NE
Senior Project Manager- Transportation
American Society of Civil Engineers | San Antonio, TX
Materials Engineer 2
American Society of Civil Engineers | IL
Land Surveyor
American Society of Civil Engineers
Quality Engineer
American Society of Civil Engineers | Attica, IN
 
Comments
comments powered by Disqus