Iran and six key governments signaled early optimism on the first day of a closely watched nuclear meeting on Tuesday, the state-run Fars News Agency reported.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif opened the two-day discussion in Geneva with a slideshow briefing thought to detail a proposed timeline for trust-boosting steps over its disputed nuclear activities, the London Guardian reported. The sides are seeking to resolve international fears that secret nuclear-bomb ambitions are guiding Iran’s nuclear program; Tehran insists the atomic effort is nonmilitary in nature.
“There is a positive atmosphere. … The first reactions were good,” Reuters quoted Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas as saying after Zarif’s morning discussion.
Undisclosed details from the foreign minister’s talk — titled “Closing an unnecessary crisis: Opening new horizons” — could include proposals to restrict certain Iranian nuclear activities, according to the Guardian. In return, Tehran would likely expect the five permanent U.N. Security Council member nations and Germany to curb international economic penalties and affirm the Persian Gulf power’s right to enrich uranium, the newspaper said.
A spokesman for European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said Zarif’s discussion was “very useful.”
The top Iranian diplomat met one-on-one with Ashton after multilateral talks ended for the day, Fars News reported. Ashton has communicated with Iran on behalf of the six other negotiating powers: China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States.
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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."
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?"
An aide to Mitt Romney confirmed to the Washington Post that the 2102 GOP nominee will not attend the Republican convention this year. He joins the two living Republican presidents, George W. Bush and George H.W. Bush, as well as 2008 nominee John McCain in skipping the event. Even among living Republican nominees, that leaves only Bob Dole who could conceivably show up. Dole did say in January that he'd prefer Trump to Ted Cruz, but his age (92) could keep him from attending.
Sen. Ben Sasse, the most prominent elected official to declare that he's #NeverTrump, wrote an open letter on Facebook to the "majority of Americans who wonder why the nation that put a man on the moon can’t find a healthy leader who can take us forward together." Calling to mind recent conversations at a Fremont, Neb., Walmart, the senator pitted the presumptive general election battle between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton as such a "terrible choice" that there would be an appetite for another candidate to emerge. In a parenthetical aside to reporters, Sasse ruled himself out. "Such a leader should be able to campaign 24/7 for the next six months," he wrote. "Therefore he/she likely can’t be an engaged parent with little kids." Meanwhile, his colleague Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) admitted in a private recording obtained by Politico that Trump hurts his reelection chances.