U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry announced from Vienna on Monday that the yearlong Iran Nuclear Talks will be extended by seven months after efforts to reach an enduring accord fell short. There has been little progress over the past few days leading up to Monday’s deadline to reach a final nuclear deal that will cap some of Iran’s nuclear work in exchange for lifting economic sanctions. Iran’s economy has been crippled by sanctions from six world powers that have cut its daily exports by 60% and frozen the ability of its banks to conduct international transactions.
The six countries, Germany, France, Russia, China, the United Kingdom, and the United States, have been in negotiations with Iran to finalize a preliminary deal to curb its nuclear program. However, Iran claims that it is seeking atomic energy, not nuclear weapons. Kerry called for patience, saying the added few months is the safe path forward.
We would be fools to walk away from a situation where the breakout times have been expanded.
Opponents of the extension argue that Iran has the ability to stage a breakout, or the production of one bomb’s worth of fuel.
Iran will receive $700 million per month in frozen assets through the end of June.
Jeremy Bash, former Chief of Staff at the U.S. Department of Defense and the C.I.A. under Leon Panetta, said that Iran will be able to amass additional know-how and new technology in developing nuclear weapons during the seven month extension. Speaking on CNBC’s Squawk Box, the former Obama official said:
So they’re continuing to basically reap the benefits of being in this negotiation. All the while, they are not making additional concessions. So I think it’s a pretty dangerous game that shows you that Iran, frankly, wasn’t ready to make a deal.
(h/t: Washington Free Beacon)
Photo credit: Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (Flickr)
This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom