Monday, December 22, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Facing deadline, US and Iran press nuclear talks

By
July 15, 2014 |

VIENNA — The top U.S. and Iranian diplomats searched Monday for a breakthrough in nuclear talks, their efforts complicated by crises across the Middle East and beyond that have Washington and Tehran aligned in some places but often opposed.

The state of U.S.-Iranian relations was adding a new wrinkle to the long negotiation aimed at curbing the Islamic republic’s uranium and plutonium programs.

While the two sides are arguably fighting proxy wars in Israel, Gaza and Syria, they’re talking cooperation in Iraq and Afghanistan. And, perhaps in a first, the nuclear matter is battling for full attention.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif spoke for about two hours around midday Monday, the second day of talks in Vienna. They gathered again in the afternoon, hoping to make progress before Sunday’s initial deadline for a comprehensive nuclear agreement. An extension of the deadline is possible, though there are opponents of that idea on both sides.

“We are in the middle of talks about nuclear proliferation and reining in Iran’s program,” Kerry told U.S. Embassy staff in Vienna during a break in the conversations. “It is a really tough negotiation.”

But other matters were being discussed, too, including Afghanistan, where Kerry visited before Vienna to broker a power-sharing agreement between rival presidential candidates and a full audit of their contested election.

As the two diplomats sat down Sunday, Zarif called Kerry’s Afghan mediation “extremely important” for the Afghan people and echoed the need “to ensure the national unity of Afghanistan and prevent its breakup.”

“We agree,” Kerry said. “And it’s good to begin with an agreement.”

But even as the U.S. and Iran have recently found increasing areas for cooperation, such as stemming a flow of Sunni extremists into Iraq, they remain diametrically opposed elsewhere.

The U.S-Iranian regional divide was underscored Monday as the Israeli military downed a drone launched by Gaza militants — the first such unmanned aircraft encountered since the start of the Jewish state’s offensive last week.

Iran is Hamas’ primary benefactor and the presumed source of its newfound drone capacity. Washington provides billions in aid each year to Israel.

The State Department didn’t say if Kerry and Zarif broached the escalating Israeli-Palestinian violence or the civil war in neighboring Syria, where the U.S. is providing political and military support to moderate rebels fighting President Bashar Assad’s Iranian-backed government.

But one change appeared clear in this week’s talks. Unlike in years past, where U.S.-Iranian interaction appeared largely limited to nuclear matters, the two countries’ interests now crisscross at multiple levels, and their discussions are broader.

Nevertheless, American officials said Kerry was focused on tackling the many differences between the U.S. and Iran on nuclear matters. His goal is to gauge “Iran’s willingness to make the critical choices it needs to make,” according to a senior State Department official.

The official wasn’t authorized to be quoted by name and demanded anonymity.

Monday’s talks came a day after Kerry and the foreign ministers of Britain, France and Germany failed to reach a breakthrough with Iran on uranium enrichment and other issues standing in the way of a deal that would curb Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for the end of nuclear-related sanctions on Tehran. Each official cited significant gaps.

Iran says it needs to expand enrichment to make reactor fuel and insists it does not want atomic arms. But the U.S. and others fear Tehran could steer the activity toward manufacturing the core of nuclear missiles. Washington is leading the insistence on deep enrichment cuts.

Under a six-month interim agreement that went into effect in January, world powers and Iran have until July 20 to conclude a final deal. The goal for the West is a long-term agreement setting clear limits on Iranian activity and locking in place an international monitoring regime to ensure that the Islamic republic cannot develop nuclear weapons.

The interim arrangement also offers the option of an additional six-month period for negotiations, an extension that appears increasingly likely. Officials have suggested they may agree on a shorter window, however.

In Washington, White House spokesman Josh Earnest wouldn’t say whether President Barack Obama had authorized Kerry to extend the deadline if necessary.

“To its credit, Iran has defied the expectations of some,” Earnest said, by fulfilling some of the steps it agreed to take. But he said on other key issues Iran hasn’t yet made the decisions needed to prove the world its intentions are peaceful. “That’s ultimately where the gaps remain,” he said.

For the U.S. and Iran, an extension makes sense in multiple ways. With so much at stake, and the potential for U.S.-Iranian cooperation in other areas being explored, neither side wants to terminate the nuclear talks. Such a course could put Tehran back on a path toward isolation and even set the stage for U.S. military action if Iran proceeded again toward nuclear weapons capacity.

Even if their interests in continuing nuclear talks align, both face difficult internal pressures against a deal — or an extension for that matter.

Iranian hardliners oppose almost any concession by President Hassan Rouhani’s government. In the U.S., some lawmakers have threatened to scuttle any emerging agreement if it would allow Iran to maintain some enrichment capacity.

A letter being circulated in Congress by Sens. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., emphasizes that a lessening of U.S. sanctions should be conditional on the nuclear agreement making tough demands on Iran.

These would include international inspections lasting for a minimum of two decades and full disclosure by Iran of any military aspects of its nuclear program.

 

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 1 comment

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • DanielJuly 15, 2014 - 5:49 am

    Obama has to play Iran"s game to allow them more time to keep building their nukes. After Obama is finished with his destruction of America we"re also going to remember the American "progressives" that enabled him and spent all of their time delusionally being cheerleaders and stalking obscure GOP like the out of office housewife Palin or Akin and divert the discussion to pettiness like "free" condoms for women votes.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

Solano News

Christmas comes early to San Marco Street park

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A1, 2 Comments | Gallery

 
Travis squadron delivers Christmas gifts to East Tabor

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
 
Multiple car accident blocks I-80 in Vacaville

By Glen Faison | From Page: A3, 2 Comments | Gallery

 
 
 
Last-minute shopping at Vacaville Premium Outlets

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: A4, 1 Comment | Gallery

Kitchen fire dislocates family for Christmas

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Famous Creations’ toy drive and cupcake sale

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: A4 | Gallery

Fairfield police log: Dec. 20, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

 
Suisun City police log: Dec. 20, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

Weather for Dec. 22, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: B10

 
.

US / World

Killer of 2 NYC officers had long criminal history

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 3 Comments

 
Killings of 2 New York officers trigger backlash

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 6 Comments

California puzzles over safety of driverless cars

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 1 Comment

 
Timeline of events before and after NY cop deaths

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

A look at the 2 NYC officers killed in ambush

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Exit poll: Ex-regime official is Tunisia’s new president

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Pakistan makes arrests in Taliban school carnage

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Tent city sprouts in shadow of downtown Detroit

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

US mulls putting NKorea on terrorism sponsor list

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Satanic Temple puts up display at Michigan Capitol

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 3 Comments

Australian woman charged with murder of 8 children

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
.

Opinion

Faust and the 2015 federal budget

By Mike Kirchubel | From Page: A8, 13 Comments

 
Obama, surgeon general still losing to NRA

By Francis Wilkinson | From Page: A8, 3 Comments

Let the music begin

By Colleen Britton | From Page: A8, 1 Comment

 
Editorial Cartoon: Dec. 22, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
.

Living

Community Calendar: Dec. 22, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
Today in History: Dec. 22, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Horoscopes: Dec. 23, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B5

 
Horoscopes: Dec. 22, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A7

 
.

Entertainment

TVGrid Dec 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
‘Hobbit’ goes out on top with $90.6 million 5-day debut

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

Good news from Tom Brokaw: His cancer is in remission

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
Review: ‘The Interview’ deserves to be seen

By Jake Coyle | From Page: B7

Happy day: Elton John, David Furnish marry in England

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
TVGrid Dec 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

.

Sports

Steelers, Packers win, move into playoffs

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Raiders knock Bills out of playoffs with 26-24 win

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Kings snap 5-game losing skid, beat Lakers 108-101

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Burns gives Sharks late-night win over Blues in OT

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

The Week Ahead: Not much of a break for Christmas

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B1

 
Super-G crash makes Vonn wait in bid for record

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

NFL Roundup: Cowboys end 4-year drought, make playoffs

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
7 hurt when lightning strikes near Tampa Bay game

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

India’s Arjun Atwal wins Dubai Open

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Documents: FSU QB Winston cleared in conduct hearing

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

.

Business

Survey: US gas prices fall 25 cents per gallon

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
US companies eager to embrace Cuba face hurdles

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

.

Obituaries

Marian Kay Zutz

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Bart Ferro

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

.

Comics

B.C. Dec 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Wizard of Id Dec 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Baby Blues Dec 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Zits Dec 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Get Fuzzy Dec 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Pickles Dec 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Rose is Rose Dec 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Beetle Bailey Dec 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Peanuts Dec 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Garfield Dec 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

For Better or Worse Dec 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Baldo Dec 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Blondie Dec 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Dilbert Dec 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Frank and Ernest Dec 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Sally Forth Dec 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Bridge Dec 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Word Sleuth Dec 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Crossword Dec 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Cryptoquote Dec 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Sudoku Dec 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Rose is Rose Dec 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Frank and Ernest Dec 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Blondie Dec 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Beetle Bailey Dec 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Garfield Dec 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

B.C. Dec 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Wizard of Id Dec 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

For Better or Worse Dec 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Get Fuzzy Dec 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Baby Blues Dec 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Baldo Dec 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Zits Dec 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Peanuts Dec 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Dilbert Dec 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Sally Forth Dec 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Pickles Dec 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Bridge Dec 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

Word Sleuth Dec 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
Crossword Dec 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

Sudoku Dec 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
Cryptoquote Dec 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7