Iran and six other countries hammered out plans for discussing how they might defuse a long-running atomic standoff, the Wall Street Journal reports.
European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton announced the development on Thursday, the last of three days of initial talks on a long-term pact between Tehran and the five permanent U.N. Security Council member nations and Germany. She — and said the sides have made arrangements for a March 17-20 meeting in Vienna.
The negotiating parties are to hold a high-level gathering roughly once each month for four months, with a July goal for finalizing a long-term resolution to disputes on Iran’s nuclear program, a Western envoy said. Washington and its allies want to address concerns that Iran’s atomic assets could support nuclear-weapons development, and Tehran is pushing to eliminate sanctions that have increasingly crimped the Iranian economy. The Middle Eastern power maintains it has no atomic-arms aspirations.
A high-level U.S. government insider said that “every issue of concern to us is on the table,” including Iran’s ballistic-missile efforts, as well as indications that the nation once conducted studies that could help it weaponize its nuclear program, the New York Times reported.
Ashton, who has represented the “P-5+1” nations in the talks, said next month’s senior-level meeting would be preceded by a gathering of “technical experts” from the negotiating governments, Agence France-Presse reported.
“We have … identified all of the issues we need to address for a comprehensive and final agreement,” the Associated Press quoted her as saying. “It won’t be easy, but we’ve gotten off to a good start.”
One Western diplomat added that Ashton is expected to discuss the next round of planned negotiations during a March 9-10 visit to the Iranian capital.
Meanwhile, the Obama administration’s top Iran negotiator plans to discuss the dialogue with officials in Israel, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, the State Department said on Thursday. U.S. Under Secretary of State Wendy Sherman is expected to lead the meetings over a five-day period, beginning on Friday.
- 1 Why Elizabeth Warren Isn’t the Most Liberal Senator
- 2 Bull’s Eye: Here’s the Obamas’ New Neighborhood
- 3 Pakistan Wants Drones, and It Doesn’t Need America’s Permission to Get Them
- 4 Trump Lays Out Energy Stances, Celebrates Hitting 1,237 Delegate Mark
- 5 Clinton Remains Kentucky Winner After Recanvass
What We're Following See More »
Trump, in a statement: “Based on the fact that the Democratic nominating process is totally rigged and Crooked Hillary Clinton and Deborah Wasserman Schultz will not allow Bernie Sanders to win, and now that I am the presumptive Republican nominee, it seems inappropriate that I would debate the second place finisher. ... I will wait to debate the first place finisher in the Democratic Party, probably Crooked Hillary Clinton, or whoever it may be.”
"It's about time for unity," said UAW President Dennis Williams. "We're endorsing Hillary Clinton. She's gotten 3 million more votes than Bernie, a million more votes than Donald Trump. She's our nominee." He called Sanders "a great friend of the UAW" while saying Trump "does not support the economic security of UAW families." Some 28 percent of UAW members indicated their support for Trump in an internal survey.
"Donald Trump on Thursday reached the number of delegates needed to clinch the Republican nomination for president, completing an unlikely rise that has upended the political landscape and sets the stage for a bitter fall campaign. Trump was put over the top in the Associated Press delegate count by a small number of the party's unbound delegates who told the AP they would support him at the convention."
"Clinton and Bernie Sanders "are now devoting additional money to television advertising. A day after Sanders announced a new ad buy of less than $2 million in the state, Clinton announced her own television campaign. Ads featuring actor Morgan Freeman as well as labor leader and civil rights activist Dolores Huerta will air beginning on Fridayin Fresno, Sacramento, and Los Angeles media markets. Some ads will also target Latino voters and Asian American voters. The total value of the buy is about six figures according to the Clinton campaign." Meanwhile, a new poll shows Sanders within the margin of error, trailing Clinton 44%-46%.