Secretary of State and former ASP board member John Kerry spoke yesterday, June 15th in Vienna about the upcoming deadline for the Iran deal this Sunday, July 20th. He began by thanking the P5+1 diplomats who have been tirelessly working to reach a negotiated settlement to ensure that Iran’s nuclear program is exclusively peaceful and that Iran will not work to acquire a nuclear weapon.
“President Obama has made it a top priority to pursue a diplomatic effort to see if we can reach an agreement that assures that the Iranian nuclear program is exclusively peaceful. In that effort, we have built a broad coalition of countries, including our P5+1 colleagues, to ensure that the international community is speaking with one voice. Despite the difficulties of these negotiations, I am confident that the United States and our partners in the P5+1 remain as squarely focused as ever on testing whether or not we can find a negotiated solution to this most pressing international security imperative.”
Secretary Kerry also stated that he will return to Washington D.C. to discuss, “the prospects for a comprehensive agreement, as well as a path forward if we do not achieve one by the 20th of July, including the question of whether or not more time is warranted, based on the progress we’ve made and how things are going.”
Secretary Kerry’s statement was then followed by a Q&A session in which he stated,
“Iran can have a peaceful nuclear program and they know how to get there. It’s by living up to the demands of the international community, the United Nations Security Council; the IAEA questions need to be answered, the additional protocol needs to be adhered to; and a specific set of verification and transparency measures need to be put in place among other things that make the promises real. That’s the nature. It’s not specific to Iran. Any country would be in the same place and need to do the same thing, as they do with respect to any kind of agreement.”
You can see the full report here: Press Availability in Vienna, Austria
ASP supports the diplomatic process of negotiations in Vienna and believes that this is the best solution to the Iranian nuclear crisis.
Theresa Shaffer is a nuclear security researcher and intern at the American Security Project. She is a recent graduate of the University of North Texas with degrees in International Studies and French. You can follow her on twitter here: Theresa Shaffer