March 5, 2015
By Lorra B.
US Secretary of State John Kerry has been seeking to squash expectations of a significant nuclear deal with Iran by March and quiet the buzz Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made after his criticism of the Iranian nuclear talks. After three days of talks, the Iranian officials and the United States have wrapped things up, for now, while Netanyahu has pleaded that negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program be stopped.
According to Kerry, the talks will resume on March 15th and he insists that progress has been made though admits there is much left to be done.
“There are still significant gaps and important choices that need to be made,” stated Kerry to reporters. “No one has presented a more viable, lasting alternative for how you actually prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon. So folks, simply demanding that Iran capitulate is not a plan. And nor would any of our P5+1 partners support us in that position.”
On March 15th six world leaders and Iran are scheduled to meet again.
Netanyahu’s controversial speech, in part, urging US Congress to back off of negotiations with Iran seems to have landed on deaf ears. Netanyahu criticized diplomatic efforts to reach an agreement arguing that “rather than preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear arms, a deal would ‘all but guarantee’ that it would one day get the atomic bomb, putting Israel, the wider region and US interests at risk,” reports Aljazeera.
Netanyahu’s position on the talks may very well cause backlash on the Obama administrations attempt to sell the deal and Kerry insists that they are very aware of the potential nuclear danger.
“We continue to be focused on reaching a good deal, the right deal, that closes off any paths that Iran could have towards fissile material for a weapon and that protects the world form the enormous threat that well all know a nuclear-armed Iran would pose,” Kerry told reporters.
There are those in Congress, however, who are fearful that the United States will accept lenient terms with Iran believing that the agreement being orchestrated could be dangerous.
According to Yahoo News, “Last week, senators introduced legislation to give Congress a say over any deal, and Republicans are trying to get it passed even as the talks continue.”
The deal that is being negotiated, if successful, will “achieve the goal of proving that Iran’s nuclear program is and will remain peaceful,” says Kerry. “No one has presented a more viable lasting alternative for how you actually prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon.”
Kerry was also quick to point out that Netanyahu offered no alternative strategy other than to walk away from the deal, an option not currently being considered by the administration.