A key European Union diplomatic coordinator suggested that envoys might need more than half a year to reach a final nuclear deal with Iran.
The figure, E.U. foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, discussed the possibility of a drawn-out diplomatic process in an interview on Sunday, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Her remarks came as some Iranian and Western government insiders expressed hope that negotiators would resolve years-old concerns over Iran’s atomic activities within the six-month duration of an interim accord that took effect on Jan. 20. Experts have said complications could arise from extending the initial pact, in which Tehran agreed to restrict some of its nuclear activities in return for sanctions relief pledged by the five permanent U.N. Security Council member nations and Germany.
“Everyone will say to you, and rightly so, this is extremely difficult,” said Ashton, who has communicated with Tehran on behalf of the “P-5+1” nations. “We have no guarantees in this and we will take the time that is necessary to get this to be the right agreement.”
Multilateral discussions on a comprehensive arrangement are scheduled to start on Feb. 18 in Vienna, Reuters quoted her as saying on Friday. Washington and its allies want a final plan to clear up international suspicions that Iran is pursuing a nuclear-weapons capability under the guise of a peaceful atomic program.
A number of Western government sources anonymously voiced skepticism that the sides could finalize such a deal by the middle of 2014, the Journal reported. According to some envoys, preparing a preliminary text as a foundation for the talks could be a months-long process in itself.
Iran’s top diplomat issued differing assessments of the possible duration of the discussions.
Speaking on Monday to the German Council on Foreign Relations, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that “with good will we can reach an agreement within six [months],” Reuters reported.
On Sunday, though, Zarif said “it would be foolish for us to only bargain for six months,” according to the news agency.
The Iranian foreign minister said he held one-on-one meetings with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and other top officials from the six negotiating powers at the Munich Security Conference this past weekend.
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Before we get to the specifics of this exposé about escorts working the Iowa and New Hampshire primary crowds, let’s get three things out of the way: 1.) It’s from Cosmopolitan; 2.) most of the women quoted use fake (if colorful) names; and 3.) again, it’s from Cosmopolitan. That said, here’s what we learned:
- Business was booming: one escort who says she typically gets two inquiries a weekend got 15 requests in the pre-primary weekend.
- Their primary season clientele is a bit older than normal—”40s through mid-60s, compared with mostly twentysomething regulars” and “they’ve clearly done this before.”
- They seemed more nervous than other clients, because “the stakes are higher when you’re working for a possible future president” but “all practiced impeccable manners.”
- One escort “typically enjoy[s] the company of Democrats more, just because I feel like our views line up a lot more.”
No matter where you stand on mandating companies to include a backdoor in encryption technologies, it doesn’t make sense to allow that decision to be made on a state level. “The problem with state-level legislation of this nature is that it manages to be both wildly impractical and entirely unenforceable,” writes Brian Barrett at Wired. There is a solution to this problem. “California Congressman Ted Lieu has introduced the ‘Ensuring National Constitutional Rights for Your Private Telecommunications Act of 2016,’ which we’ll call ENCRYPT. It’s a short, straightforward bill with a simple aim: to preempt states from attempting to implement their own anti-encryption policies at a state level.”
Much has been made of David Brooks’s recent New York Times column, in which confesses to missing already the civility and humanity of Barack Obama, compared to who might take his place. In NewYorker.com, Jeffrey Frank reminds us how critical such attributes are to foreign policy. “It’s hard to imagine Kennedy so casually referring to the leader of Russia as a gangster or a thug. For that matter, it’s hard to imagine any president comparing the Russian leader to Hitler [as] Hillary Clinton did at a private fund-raiser. … Kennedy, who always worried that miscalculation could lead to war, paid close attention to the language of diplomacy.”
The New Covenant. The Third Way. The Democratic Leadership Council style. Call it what you will, but whatever centrist triangulation Bill Clinton embraced in 1992, Hillary Clinton wants no part of it in 2016. Writing for Bloomberg, Sasha Issenberg and Margaret Talev explore how Hillary’s campaign has “diverged pointedly” from what made Bill so successful: “For Hillary to survive, Clintonism had to die.” Bill’s positions in 1992—from capital punishment to free trade—“represented a carefully calibrated diversion from the liberal orthodoxy of the previous decade.” But in New Hampshire, Hillary “worked to juggle nostalgia for past Clinton primary campaigns in the state with the fact that the Bill of 1992 or the Hillary of 2008 would likely be a marginal figure within today’s Democratic politics.”
At first, “it was pleasant” to see Trevor Noah “smiling away and deeply dimpling in the Stewart seat, the seat that had lately grown gray hairs,” writes The Atlantic‘s James Parker in assessing the new host of the once-indispensable Daily Show. But where Jon Stewart was a heavyweight, Noah is “a very able lightweight, [who] needs time too. But he won’t get any. As a culture, we’re not about to nurture this talent, to give it room to grow. Our patience was exhausted long ago, by some other guy. We’re going to pass judgment and move on. There’s a reason Simon Cowell is so rich. Impress us today or get thee hence. So it comes to this: It’s now or never, Trevor.”