Newspaper article International New York Times

Extension of Nuclear Talks May Be on the Table ; Resistance in Congress Expected If Obama Tries to Give Iran More Time

Newspaper article International New York Times

Extension of Nuclear Talks May Be on the Table ; Resistance in Congress Expected If Obama Tries to Give Iran More Time

Article excerpt

Iran has signaled that it wants to negotiate past Sunday's deadline, but the president is almost certain to run into congressional opposition if he agrees.

President Obama has said that he believes the United States has "a credible way forward" in its nuclear negotiations with Iran, and he strongly suggested that after consultations with Congress, which has been threatening additional sanctions, he would seek an extension of the talks beyond Sunday's deadline.

"There are still some significant gaps between the international community and Iran," he said Wednesday in the White House press room, before announcing additional sanctions on Russia, "and we have more work to do."

Iran has already signaled that it wants more time to negotiate, but Mr. Obama is almost certain to run into opposition on Capitol Hill if he agrees to it. Republicans and even some Democrats have argued that Tehran is simply stalling.

It is unclear whether Iran will demand more sanctions relief in return for an extension. But in Vienna over the past two weeks, as Iran and the West began to define what a deal might look like, Mr. Obama's aides have debated a question that no longer seems theoretical: How much risk is the United States willing to take to reach a deal that will almost certainly leave Iran with some potential, over the long term, to make a nuclear weapon?

The Iranian proposal Mr. Kerry brought back to Washington from Vienna, where he spent three days haggling with his counterpart, Mohammad Javad Zarif, is widely judged as insufficient by American officials and intelligence experts. They argue that it would not give the West the minimum Mr. Kerry said last year was acceptable: at least a year's warning time that Iran was racing to produce enough bomb-grade fuel for a nuclear weapon -- even if fabricating the weapon itself would take longer.

That is something of an arbitrary measure, and, in the minds of many nuclear experts, a misleading one. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.