US Negotiator: All the Components of an Enrichment Deal with Iran are on the Table

By Golnaz Esfandiari

The top U.S. negotiator in nuclear talks with Iran says Washington will not allow Tehran to obtain nuclear arms.

Speaking at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, U.S. Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman warned that an Iran armed with nuclear weapons could lead to an arms race in the region and create further instability and danger.

Sherman said the United States prefers to achieve its goal through diplomatic means.

But she added that “Iran will not, shall not, obtain a nuclear weapon.”

Sherman also acknowledged that the negotiations are controversial, with some — she did not specify who — hoping for success while others for failure.

Sherman spoke ahead of the November 24 deadline for Iran and six major world powers to reach a lasting agreement to the crisis over Iran’s sensitive nuclear work.

She said the U.S. administration has consulted regularly with members of the U.S. Congress and allies, including Israel and the Persian Gulf States, to allay their fear regarding a potential deal.

Sherman called on Iran’s leaders to make the right choice.

“If Iran truly wants to resolve its differences with the international community — and facilitate the lifting of economic sanctions — it will have no better chance than between now and November 24,” Sherman said.

She said now is the time to finish the job.

However, she added that she didn’t know if a deal would be reached by the target date.

“I can tell you that all the components of a plan that should be acceptable to both sides are on the table,” she said.

Iran says its nuclear program is solely for peaceful purposes and denies it is secretly developing nuclear weapons.

Sherman also said that on the margins of the nuclear talks with Iran, she and other U.S. officials had raised concern over the status of U.S. citizens detained or missing in Iran.

She said former U.S. Marine Amir Hekmati, Pastor Saeed Abedini, and “Washington Post” reporter Jason Rezaian should be allowed to return to their families.

Mirrored from RFE/RL

Copyright (c) 2014. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036.


Related video added by Juan Cole

Democracy Now!: “Former Weapons Inspector in Iraq Raises Skepticism over Claims Iran Is Hiding Nuclear Weapons Tests”

2 Responses

  1. Amy Goodman and Robert Kelly should be thanked for this excellent interview that should be seen by all the policy-makers in Washington if they are really interested in learning the truth, rather than being influenced by malicious propaganda. The issue of negotiations with Iran is extremely important for the peace of the Middle East and the world and for relations between Iran and the United States. The talks are reaching a very crucial and critical stage next month. This is why those who wish to sabotage those talks have also intensified their efforts in spreading lies and producing phony intelligence. This time they should not be allowed to lead the world to another war on the basis of lies, because a war with Iran will be even more devastating than the disastrous invasion of Iraq.

    There is a good deal on the tale. The interim agreement that was reached last November between Iran and the P5+1 has rolled back most of Iran’s peaceful nuclear activities, including stopping enrichment at 20%, changing the design of Arak heavy water reactor to make sure that it will not be able to produce weapon-grade material, turning Fordo enrichment plant into a research only facility, as well as cutting back the stockpile of uranium enriched to 3.5%. Furthermore, Iran has agreed to more stringent inspections of its sites, on a daily basis, and the IAEA has regularly reported that Iran has carried out its side of the bargain.

    All those who are in favor of peace in the world should put their efforts behind a comprehensive agreement in November, because the alternative based on lies and false intelligence is too awful to contemplate.

  2. Israel’s Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz has recently indicated that the Iranian military base at Parchin was used for testing nuclear detonation technology and there ave even been at least one report that the Parchin site was the target of a recent Israel Air Force strike:

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