Kerry, Iranian Official Continue Discussions on Interim Deal

Jordain Carney, National Journal
See more stories about...
Jordain Carney, National Journal
Dec. 16, 2013, 9:02 a.m.

U.S. Sec­ret­ary of State John Kerry spoke with his Ir­a­ni­an coun­ter­part in search of a path for­ward on the in­ter­im nuc­le­ar deal reached last month.

A seni­or State De­part­ment of­fi­cial said on Monday that the week­end con­ver­sa­tion fo­cused on “the im­port­ance of mov­ing for­ward” on the agree­ment reached in Geneva and “main­tain­ing a con­struct­ive at­mo­sphere as the ne­go­ti­ations con­tin­ue.”

The talks — which took place dur­ing Kerry’s flight to Vi­et­nam — fol­low the ad­min­is­tra­tion’s an­nounce­ment last week that it was tar­get­ing more than a dozen in­di­vidu­als and com­pan­ies for al­legedly vi­ol­at­ing the sanc­tions against Ir­an. The de­cision bars the de­sign­ees from en­ga­ging in trans­ac­tions with U.S. in­di­vidu­als and al­lows the United States to freeze any as­sets cur­rently un­der its jur­is­dic­tion, as well as any that fall in­to its con­trol in the fu­ture.

Za­rif told the Wash­ing­ton Post that des­pite re­ports to the con­trary, the new des­ig­na­tions did not end the ne­go­ti­ations between Ir­an, the United States, the United King­dom, France, Ger­many, Rus­sia, and China over Ir­an’s nuc­le­ar pro­gram.

“As Mark Twain rightly poin­ted out, the news of their de­mise is greatly ex­ag­ger­ated,” he said. “I be­lieve we need to have a re­as­sess­ment of how we want to pro­ceed — every­body needs to do that — go back to the ne­go­ti­at­ing table with a view to re­mov­ing these obstacles and mov­ing for­ward.”

He ad­ded that he has also been in con­tact with of­fi­cials from oth­er coun­tries in­volved with the ne­go­ti­ations, as well as Cath­er­ine Ashton, the European Uni­on’s for­eign policy chief, on how to move for­ward.

This art­icle was pub­lished in Glob­al Se­cur­ity News­wire, which is pro­duced in­de­pend­ently by Na­tion­al Journ­al Group un­der con­tract with the Nuc­le­ar Threat Ini­ti­at­ive. NTI is a non­profit, non­par­tis­an group work­ing to re­duce glob­al threats from nuc­le­ar, bio­lo­gic­al, and chem­ic­al weapons.

What We're Following See More »
LEVERAGE
Kasich Tells His Delegates to Remain Pledged to Him
48 minutes ago
THE LATEST

Citing the unpredictable nature of this primary season and the possible leverage they could bring at the convention, John Kasich is hanging onto his 161 delegates. "Kasich sent personal letters Monday to Republican officials in the 16 states and the District of Columbia where he won delegates, requesting that they stay bound to him in accordance with party rules."

Source:
EFFECTIVE NEXT MONTH
House GOP Changes Rules for Spending Measures
50 minutes ago
THE DETAILS

"Speaker Paul Ryan is changing the rules of how the House will consider spending measures to try to prevent Democrats from offering surprise amendments that have recently put the GOP on defense. ... Ryan announced at a House GOP conference meeting Tuesday morning that members will now have to submit their amendments ahead of time so that they are pre-printed in the Congressional Record, according to leadership aides." The change will take effect after the Memorial Day recess.

Source:
LOST BY HALF A PERCENTAGE POINT
Sanders Wants a Recount in Kentucky
2 hours ago
THE LATEST

Bernie Sanders "signed a letter Tuesday morning requesting a full and complete check and recanvass of the election results in Kentucky ... where he trails Hillary Clinton by less than one-half of 1 percent of the vote. The Sanders campaign said it has asked the Kentucky secretary of state to have election officials review electronic voting machines and absentee ballots from last week's primary in each of the state's 120 counties.

Source:
THE QUESTION
How Much Did the IRS Overpay in Earned Income Tax Credit Benefits?
6 hours ago
THE ANSWER

An estimated $15.6 billion, "according to a Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration report."

Source:
TIES TO CLINTON GLOBAL INITIATIVE
McAuliffe Under Investigation for Fundraising
6 hours ago
WHY WE CARE

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) “is the subject of an ongoing investigation by the FBI and … the Justice Department” for potentially improper contributions to his 2013 campaign, including while he was a Clinton Global Initiative board member. ... Among the McAuliffe donations that drew the interest of the investigators was $120,000 from” former Chinese legislator Wang Wenliang. “U.S. election law prohibits foreign nationals from donating to … elections. … But Wang holds U.S. permanent resident status.”

Source:
×