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 »
Paul Ryan told CNN today he's "not ready" to back Donald Trump at this time. "I'm not there right now," he said. Ryan said Trump needs to unify "all wings of the Republican Party and the conservative movement" and then run a campaign that will allow Americans to "have something that they're proud to support and proud to be a part of. And we've got a ways to go from here to there."
In The New Yorker, Jeffrey Toobin gives Preet Bharara, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, the longread treatment. The scourge of corrupt New York pols, bad actors on Wall Street, and New York gang members, Bharara learned at the foot of Chuck Schumer, the famously limelight-hogging senator whom he served as a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee staff. No surprise then, that after President Obama appointed him, Bharara "brought a media-friendly approach to what has historically been a closed and guarded institution. In professional background, Bharara resembles his predecessors; in style, he’s very different. His personality reflects his dual life in New York’s political and legal firmament. A longtime prosecutor, he sometimes acts like a budding pol; his rhetoric leans more toward the wisecrack than toward the jeremiad. He expresses himself in the orderly paragraphs of a former high-school debater, but with deft comic timing and a gift for shtick."
President Obama has announced another round of commutations of prison sentences. Most of the 58 individuals named are incarcerated for possessions with intent to distribute controlled substances. The prisoners will be released between later this year and 2018.
The Daily Beast has unearthed a piece that Donald Trump wrote for Gear magazine in 2000, which anticipates his 2016 sales pitch quite well. "Perhaps it's time for a dealmaker who can get the leaders of Congress to the table, forge consensus, and strike compromise," he writes. Oddly, he opens by defending his reputation as a womanizer: "The hypocrites argue that a man who loves and appreciates beautiful women (and does so legally and openly) shouldn't become a national leader? Is there something wrong with appreciating beautiful women? Don't we want people in public office who show signs of life?"