U.S. needs to get real over Iran nuclear talks
October 21st, 2013
08:45 AM ET

U.S. needs to get real over Iran nuclear talks

By Kelsey Davenport, Special to CNN

Editor’s note: Kelsey Davenport is the nonproliferation analyst for the Arms Control Association. The views expressed are her own.

For the first time in years, Washington appears to be on the path towards a deal that will guard against a nuclear-armed Iran. But to achieve that goal, America must speak with one voice. Our representatives in Washington must actively support our diplomats and actively avoid undercutting them at the negotiating table.

After two days of talks in Geneva, there is good reason to hope that Iran, the United States, and five other world powers are on the path to an agreement that will end the decades-long standoff over Iran’s nuclear program.

During the October 15 to 16 negotiations, Iranian officials followed through on newly-elected President Hassan Rouhani’s promise to engage in serious negotiations with the international community and present a proposal that addresses the concerns about Iran’s nuclear program. In a press conference following the talks, a joint statement endorsed by all the participating countries described Iran’s proposal as an “important contribution” and characterized the talks as “substantive and forward looking.”

In short, Iran is following through on Rouhani’s commitment to enter into serious negotiations and address international concerns over its nuclear intentions.

Indeed, in a strange twist, the main impediment to a nuclear deal may not be Iran, but hardliners in the U.S. Congress. It is now time for the United States to demonstrate to Iran that we are also willing and able to reach a “win-win” agreement. With Iran bringing a serious proposal to the table that will limit its nuclear program, pragmatic lawmakers must resist the hawks’ calls for additional sanctions, allowing time for negotiations to proceed, and instead focus on the shape of a deal that will protect U.S. interests preventing  a nuclear-armed Iran.

More from GPS: Don't expect miracles

Washington needs to be realistic about the scope of a deal. Those calling for Iran to dismantle its nuclear program and forgo all uranium enrichment activities are either naïve or disingenuous. While that may be the perfect solution from a nonproliferation standpoint, it is a hardly a compromise that Iranian negotiators would be able to sell back in Tehran.

Insisting on zero enrichment is not an effective solution to stopping Iran's dangerous nuclear pursuits. But it is a ploy for those who prefer bombing Iran to talking to Tehran. Failure to allow time for diplomacy to work, and following an alternative course of further sanctions and possibly military strikes, only risks pushing Tehran to openly pursuing nuclear weapons.

This does not, of course, mean that the United States should accept a bad deal. Iran should be restricted to only producing uranium enriched to civilian power reactor grade, and the amount produced should be tied to its civilian power needs. Tehran must also allow international inspectors more extensive access to its nuclear facilities, visits on short notice, and must provide more-timely information about future nuclear facilities.

Including these measures in a deal would ensure that Iran could not dash to build nuclear weapons before the international community would detect such activities and be able to block them.

Iranian concessions must also be followed by reciprocal measures to relieve the sanctions imposed by the United States and the international community. As Iran addresses the most sensitive proliferation concerns, Washington should begin waiving restrictions that have devastated Iran’s economy. Failure to roll back these sanctions in a timely manner could send the wrong signal to the Iranians about the seriousness of U.S. efforts to reach a deal.

Negotiations are scheduled to resume in Geneva on November 7.  Let’s not spoil this real opportunity with unrealistic demands.

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Topics: Iran • Nuclear

soundoff (82 Responses)
  1. D. Shark

    A America first foreign policy would be refreshing. The policy of the single purpose Neocons is bankrupting the US at the cost of our youth and wealth. How does such a small minority get such a big say in the doings of our great nation?

    October 21, 2013 at 9:24 am |
    • Felix Unger

      Good question, D. Shark. The answer is that these creeps work for the all powerful MIC(military-industrial-complex) in Washington D.C. and it's these people who need to be voted out of office once and for all!

      October 21, 2013 at 11:37 am |
      • j. von hettlingen

        Indeed, those, who most unlikely to negotiate with Iran are the Neocons and supporters of Netanyahu. Their goal is said to be regime change and they wouldn't opt for lifting the sanctions. They want to cripple Iran's economy and hope for an implosion. It's totally unfair to punish the Iranian people, who have to bear the brunt of their leaders' nuclear dispute with the international community.

        October 22, 2013 at 9:19 am |
    • mullahproblems

      In a lot of ways this is America first. This is promoting a middle east not as beset by sectarian violence. Iran is a big supporter of terror groups that cause violence, rising oil costs due to destabilization, and higher costs of American allies. A peaceful Iran-without the mullahs-is going to help the U.S. in the long run.

      October 21, 2013 at 12:49 pm |
      • 1mikeadams1

        Exactly. Curtailing Iran's aggressive capabilities is an American priority and thus something we must take care of.

        October 21, 2013 at 2:09 pm |
      • George

        Nonsense. Iran does not support terrorism. In fact, it is the victim of terrorism by the U.S. and Israel. You haven't heard of the assassination of Iranian scientists or the computer viruses that tried to disable Iranian nuclear sites? I have other examples since it appears that you don't know anything about the subject.

        October 21, 2013 at 3:15 pm |
      • Sharpy

        Funny since Iran is today what America has made it, it was a democratic Country until it refused to sell its oil to Britian & the USA! Who back a coup and installed the Shah to oust him created a radical religous shift the Ayatollah Khamenei so the blame falls back on western foreign policy. Israel should have to join the NPT as well.

        October 24, 2013 at 9:57 am |
    • Rach

      "Single purpose Neocons" = Jews pursuing their international ethnic interests, using the US as their bully boy.

      October 21, 2013 at 1:11 pm |
      • Harris

        Somehow whenever the discussion of the Middle East comes up, all the anti-Semites come crawling out of the woodwork. The oldest and most virulent of prejudices will not go away. For anti-Semite Rach, try googling Jews and Nobel Prize, if you want a true picture. Further, Israel has the right to advocate for its interests, as what would America do if another country constantly threatened to destroy us?

        October 21, 2013 at 1:36 pm |
      • AL999

        As Rach points out, "Jews pursuing their international ethnic interests." What a laugh. Didn't know that Jews cooperated in lock step agreement with each other. Indeed, it would be a first. You know that if you get two Jews in a room, you will get at least three opinions.

        October 21, 2013 at 2:01 pm |
      • Rach

        Neoconservatism is kosher conservatism. Israel-centric foreign policy wedded to social liberalism. Not conservatism at all, just Jewish ethnic interests made manifest in domestic/foreign policy.

        As for that supposed diversity of Jewish opinion, liberal Jewish interventionists were out in force in CNN op-eds, yelling for intervention in Syria. Ghitis, Greene, et al. Not to mention Amanpour a/k/a Ms. Rubin delivering a tearfest for the ages.

        Yeah, this race of geniuses has everyone hating them for two millennia for no reason at all.

        October 21, 2013 at 2:43 pm |
      • sly

        Ah, listen to Adoph Rach here – sounds like you ate a bad bagel and got your panties all in a bun.

        Don't whine on here – just reach down your butt and straighten out your panties. You'll feel better immediately, and the rest of us don't need to read your 5th grade opinions.

        October 21, 2013 at 3:25 pm |
    • American

      Here is the cold hard truth that many don't want to believe but it is a reality. The same people have been in charge of Iran since 1979, there is no democracy and nothing has changed. They have tried for a long time to become a nuclear power and now they are very close and they increase enrichment daily.

      They changed presidents to a more moderate because the sanctions were starting to hurt and they want this new smiling face to trick the soft hearted west AND ITS WORKING. The president of Iran has no power at all NONE.

      If a deal is struck and sanctions are lifted without Iran stopping all enrichment then they will still have the ability to acquire a nuke at anytime plus they will have the funds and means to do so quicker. This is reality folks not war mongering.

      Some of you hate jews or hate netenyahu but he has it right on this one.

      October 21, 2013 at 1:43 pm |
      • 1mikeadams1

        Well said. Rouhani can pretend to be a moderate, but it's only a matter of time until people figure out that he's the same radical puppet that he's always been.

        October 21, 2013 at 2:11 pm |
      • Rach

        If Iran gets the bomb, more power to them. It'll "rationalize" ME politics.

        And "American" needs to wake up and realize that his country, and most of the West, is a Jewish dictatorship.

        October 21, 2013 at 2:48 pm |
      • George

        American: You don't have any idea what you are talking about. Iran is the ONLY democratic country in the Middle East. Even Israel is not a democracy since it is an apartheid neo-theocracy. In some respects, Iran is even more democratic than the US, where elections are a farce and Washington is a dysfunctional mess that has made us the laughingstock of the world.

        People who live in glass houses should not throw stones.

        October 21, 2013 at 3:19 pm |
      • bob

        iran was given enough uranium to make one, possibly two simple bombs back in '68. they never needed indigenous uranium enrichment to do this. and yet tel aviv still doesnt glow in the dark. the people that complain about the enrichment program as the same people referred to in this article – those who rather bomb iran than have real peace.

        October 21, 2013 at 3:33 pm |
      • mark

        @American. You are a joke. When that idiot Ahmadinejad was the president you all sounded like he was the most powerful man in the world and used his hateful comments to promote your cause. Now that he is gone you say "the president of Iran has no power AT ALL" Something tells me you want to be hated.

        October 22, 2013 at 3:45 pm |
      • Sharpy

        Sadly Iran needs Nuclear weapons the USA actions of war mongering is the direct cause of the new arms race

        October 24, 2013 at 10:02 am |
    • Phelix Unger

      This can be argued from all points of interest including the most effected by the sanctions the populace of Iran, I still think its a little to early to talk about lifting the sanctions off Iran. Sounds like most of the people hear remember South Africa's ruling minority, in the end it was because of international sanctions and constant pressure that caused regime change in that country. So to say that your just hurting the people isn't quite right, the people of South Africa called for the sanctions even though it hurt its citizens. Iran has a very strong history of defiance against the west, to think that this has changed at this time is naïve. The single reason this change has come about, the sanctions. Not because the government has changed it ambitions to ensure the health and welfare of its people. The High Council isn't concerned about its people, however it is concerned about its ability to project itself as a regional power, and perhaps even to gain recognition as a global power. There is a real chance to effect change within the regime and at the same time prevent another country from gaining access to nuclear weaponry. More players in the nuclear game doesn't create more stability globally, it has the exact opposite affect. Some would say what right does anyone have in shaping a countries ability to arm itself with what ever technology it can acquire? I guess the right answer is none, although look what is happening in Syria, with the destruction of its chemical weapons. We should be aspiring to do away with the most deadly weapons in the world, but there seems to be a large number of people who say, let them have the weapons. To what end, so another country has the ability to kill millions in a single stroke, that's not a very sound argument for a better tomorrow. As for a free and democratic Iran as some have said its already democratic, nothing could be further from the truth when a countries religious leaders decide who can run for office and who can't, or controlling what people watch as on the internet and television. Free societies let the people decide who runs their countries, not religious organizations of any sort.

      October 22, 2013 at 10:05 am |
      • Saman

        Yeah but if Iran brings a lot to the table and and world powers give nothing back to them, most likely the hard liners in Iran will just stop the negotiations and actually go for the nuclear weapons, You give and you get, they need something in return for process and further negotiations to work.

        October 22, 2013 at 1:53 pm |
      • Pheix Unger

        Of course the process will continue up to the minute it can't,

        But very good assessment, this was predictable from last year.

        One of two things is going to happen.

        This is the world we live in, ain't pretty but its worked up till now.

        October 22, 2013 at 7:11 pm |
      • Sharpy

        It would be good to remember why the Countries religious leaders have this power! Remember it was a true democracy until your coup installed the Shah, to steal the oil, creating the radical power of the Ayatollah Khamenei-correct?

        October 24, 2013 at 10:12 am |
  2. Jethro

    How is it possible to determine whether the public can decide on whether to make a decision to deal or not deal with Iran when no one publicy knows really how far Iran has progressed down the path of nuclear armanent or not? Our government, as flawed as it may be, still has a better idea of what has been happening over the last several years. Why else would there be so much reluctance on their part to deal? Even Obama has established a fairly hard line with Iran. Why? I doubt his reasons for his position are arbitrary or baseless.

    October 21, 2013 at 9:27 am |

      Jethro – Very wise perspective!

      The average American who allows their worldview to form from the steady flow of Talk Radio, "Reality" Shows, Facebook rants, and increasingly less frequently (though no less dangerous) the sensationalist news outlets is really in no position to advocate policy on matters they barely understand. Henry Ford wasn't the smartest man in the world but he displayed wisdom and intelligence by surrounding himself with people who were very smart about their core competencies. If you haven't got an advanced degree, don't do serious research to become properly informed on a topic, haven't lived in the fray for an extended time (the Middle East, former Soviet Bloc, or openly hostile nation)...change one of these things then offer your opinion. Otherwise displaying wisdom may include accepting that some others have greater knowledge and experience than you.

      October 21, 2013 at 11:41 am |
      • Rach

        You're assuming that the "expert" crowd has our best interests at heart, or that they act with integrity.

        Jews call the shots in the West. Even a 200 IQ think tank wunderkind with a mile-long CV would be out on his a-s if he didn't toe their line.

        October 21, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
    • mullahproblems

      Informed readers can find IAEA reports that detail this information, I know a lot of people don't really worry about this stuff which is okay. What a lot of people need to know is this-the IAEA can't get into certain heavy water sites because Iran won't let them. That's important because heavy water is the quickest way to a bomb.

      October 21, 2013 at 12:55 pm |
      • 1mikeadams1

        Agreed with the comments above. Most people don't feel the need to educate themselves on the topic, but it is in the IAEA reports that Iran continually restricts access to its nuclear facilities, and this in itself is a huge violation and red flag to the nuclear watchdog community.

        October 21, 2013 at 2:18 pm |
      • bob

        iran already has uranium enrichment facilities. if they wanted nukes there is no reason to breed plutonium for it.

        October 21, 2013 at 3:34 pm |
    • George

      Obama just listens to Netanyahu's lunatic rants. That is why he is giving Iran a hard time. If he listened to his own intelligence agencies, 16 of of them in unison have stated repeatedly that Iran has no nuclear weapons program. So, where does he get his information? Why are we spending billion on these intelligence agencies if they are useless?

      As for the IAEA, not a single IAEA report has presented any evidence that Iran has done anything dealing with weapons. The stupid current head of the agency, Amano, who is known to be a stooge of the U.S., has included utterly childish "speculations" about potential activities more than 10 years ago. There are zero facts on these claims.

      Also, Iran is the most inspected country in the world. IAEA is demanding visits to a military site, Parchin, which they have visited twice already and found nothing there. By NPT bylaws there is no obligation on the part of Iran to open its military sites to IAEA. By the way, who is inspecting American or Israeli nuclear and military sites? The hypocrisy here is unbelievable.

      October 23, 2013 at 11:49 am |
  3. NO

    No.....The U.S. needs to get real on.......the U.S.

    October 21, 2013 at 9:55 am |
  4. Get real

    Our foreign policy in the middle east has never been independent from the rich Arab gulf countries, we never dare to approve or disapprove of any policy in the region unless they approve or disapprove first.

    October 21, 2013 at 10:40 am |
    • mullahproblems

      And if the oil rich Arab Gulf States are frightened of Iran what does that say? Does that mean we need to think Iran is a peaceful kindhearted nation?

      October 21, 2013 at 12:57 pm |
      • Sharpy

        American are frightened of Canada they think we will let in terrorists and even still blame us for 911 terrorists which is untrue. So are we to the US what Iran is to Saudi Arabia then? Remember Iran is a USA creation from the time of the Shah! Where is the IAEA report on Israel??

        October 24, 2013 at 10:21 am |
  5. Leo

    if the US has anything to do with it, the standoff will continue, they are not interested in any fair negotiations with Iran, the drums of war will continue to beat, with Israel being the drum major.

    October 21, 2013 at 10:54 am |
    • mullahproblems

      Fair? Is it fair that we're negotiating with a country that funds terrorists? One that's responsible for thousands of deaths in Syria? That's what doesn't seem fair to me.

      October 21, 2013 at 2:02 pm |
    • 1mikeadams1

      You fail to mention that Iran isn't interested in a deal or compromise either. It's all a charade so that Iran can buy time to add to their nuclear capabilities.

      October 21, 2013 at 2:21 pm |
    • sly

      Yep – America, the worlds leading Terrorist Organization. 25 nations bombed in the past 30+ years.

      Heck, we've bombed Iran 3 times in less than 40 years.

      Goes around comes around.

      I'm all for Iran having nuclear power. But America? I am not sure – we are not to be trusted.

      October 21, 2013 at 3:31 pm |
  6. jon

    It is always all about ISRAEL!

    October 21, 2013 at 11:09 am |
    • Leo

      your right....usually it is

      October 21, 2013 at 11:31 am |
  7. chaaad

    Countries that don't have nuclear or chemical weapons have a legitimate right to ask another country to disarm those weapons.
    Countries that do have them (including US, Israel and Russia) are just hypocrites.

    October 21, 2013 at 11:37 am |
  8. RT Colorado

    The Iranians are moving towards completing a nuclear warhead for their intermediate range missiles. When they get close enough to that goal as to concern the Israelis and the Saudis, there will be a war between the Israelis and the Iranians or the Saudis and the Iranians. Don't forget, the Saudi royal family relies on the Wahhabists to keep the peace among their own people (and a boat load of money). The Shiites and the Sunnis have been at virtually perpetual war since 700 AD, the only thing that keeps that tamped down are strong central governments or opponents too strong to do anything about. If the Iranians are left unchecked to develop a nuclear tip for their spear, all hell will break out.

    October 21, 2013 at 12:19 pm |
  9. Jerry Okamura

    The US is a member of the exclusive nuclear club, and they don't want anyone else that they do not approve of, to join their exclusive club.

    October 21, 2013 at 1:13 pm |
    • sly

      Yep – we spend more on military than the rest of the develop world put together.

      And America is the one nation that has bombed over 25 countries in the past few decades.

      Iran is far more trustworthy than America – at least they stay within their legal boundaries. America is bombing about 15 nations today alone.

      October 21, 2013 at 3:12 pm |
      • Ted

        If you trust Iran more than the USA, then you had better relocate to Iran permanently and leave the USA alone. I see you and your ilk as fifth columnists subverting this country. If Iran is truly disinterested in developing nuclear weapons, as they claim, then why are they developing intercontinental ballistic missiles? Why are they channelling tremendous effort towards uranium enrichment, far beyond genuine medical and industrial needs of their country? Why did they build uranium enrichment facility covertly and were caught red-handed? Why do they staunchly refuse snap inspections of their nuclear facilities by the IAEA? I could go on and on but let these suffice. And if you presume that a nuclear Iran will stabilize the ME, you had better jettison that false presumption. Instead, imagine the spectre of a nuclear terrorrism by some non-state actors, for starters, if Iran gets the bomb.

        October 22, 2013 at 3:11 am |
      • Sharpy

        @Ted Iran needs Nukes because of US foreign policies, do you know Iran was a peaceful true democracy until they would not sell there oil to us the we back a coup installed the Shah a dictator and stoled the oil. This created the Ayatollah Khamenie as the radical leader so reap what you have created!

        October 24, 2013 at 10:28 am |
  10. Syd Chaden

    Interesting that Americans cheer talking to Iran about only peaceful uses of nuclear technology, but determinedly ignore the Islamic doctrine of "death to infidels". The doctrine of "death to infidels" is the root cause of the Islamic terrorism that plagues the world. Western leaders lack the courage to confront it, but the Muslim World takes it very seriously. The two major branches of Islam, the Sunnis and the Shia, each consider the other to be infidels, and they have been killing each other for centuries, for that reason. They still are, in Pakistan, Yemen, Iraq, Egypt, Mali, Libya, Sudan, Nigeria, Lebanon and Syria, to name just a few of the affected countries. Ignoring that won't make it go away. Pretending that it doesn't exist won't make it go away. Fantasizing that Islam is the religion of love won't make it go away. Prominent Muslim clerics are preaching "death to infidels" today. The Wahhabi Schools are teaching "death to infidels" today. The great majority of Americans are infidels. Wake up, America!

    October 21, 2013 at 1:18 pm |
    • sly

      Stop drinking the kool-aid Syd – you know who kills more folks than the rest of the world put together – Americans, you know, the Christian Soldiers.

      I can't think of anyone that Iran has killed in the past 30-50 years.

      October 21, 2013 at 3:14 pm |
      • nhguy

        hey sly, ever hear of the iraq – iran war?

        October 21, 2013 at 3:41 pm |
      • sly

        Yes, you are correct. After America's Right Wing Death Squad Dictator, the Shah of Iran, was overthrown by the people, we did indeed provide Chemical Gas to a nice man named Saddam Hussein, and we sent in our CIA and mercenaries, and did manage to provoke Iran into a border war.

        So, I do stand corrected – Iran did once retaliate againest America and kill some foreign invaders.

        Thank you.

        October 21, 2013 at 3:52 pm |
  11. Organic1

    Just what do you think the US can say to iran to make them stop? I thought so...

    October 21, 2013 at 2:31 pm |
  12. more2bits

    It matters not what the USA agrees to but what Israel feels about the deal. If Israel thinks it's a lark and will only result in freeing up their frozen funds to purchase bomb material and to continue flaunting hidden nuclear sites it will just nuke Iran anyway itself.

    October 21, 2013 at 2:40 pm |
  13. Zionist

    I agree with the Israeli government and Knesset. Trusting Hassan Rouhani of Iran would be like the United States government inviting Kim Jung-un of North Korea to our country for coffee, cake, an NBA basketball game and negotiations !! Give me a break President Obama !! Don't tell me you are that foolish to fall for Tehran's old tricks !!

    If they truly want to negotiate, they can first start off by dismantling both their Hamas and Hezbollah terrorist organizations, both of which they sponsor and support, and recognize the State of Israel's right to exist !!!!

    October 21, 2013 at 2:45 pm |
  14. Jamea

    How may years since 1979 and the USofA and its media drones like Fareed are still beating war drums over Iran?? Sad. The US has started more wars in the last decade than Iran has since THE USofA helped depose the shah years ago. More bogeymen like Iran keep the USofA from worrying about real problems. The USofA let Israel get nukes, why shouldn't Iran have them? THE USofA is still the only country to use the bomb against civilians, even though "crazy countries" like North Korea, Pakistan, Russia and China have the bomb. The USofA needs to stop spreading lies.

    October 21, 2013 at 2:49 pm |
  15. sly

    I applaud the new Iranian President for reaching out to help build nuclear power to feed his people.

    It takes a lot of guts to trust the Americans who had unleashed a terrorist attack on Iran – murdering over 300 civilians on a vacationing airplane.

    In America, we haven't yet forgiven Al Queda for their 9/11 response to our terrorist act, so for Iran to forgive America enough to start negotiating for cleaner energy is a good step forward.

    Work with Iran – they are a very important nation on earth, and anyone who is willing to work with America is taking a huge gamble.

    October 21, 2013 at 3:08 pm |
  16. sly

    Ah yes, "the Jewish people" run America.

    You know – Jewish George Bush and his CIA dad. The Israeli Dick Cheney and Newt Gingrich. Don't forget the famous Jewish man Senator Ted Cruz, who apparently was working with Al Queda in an effort to weaken America.

    The Jewish Texas Oil industry – all those fat white Jewish Texans who own the oil ... yep.

    Oh yes, and of course, everyone knows all the Jewish Generals in our Military Industrial Complex. Throw in Jewish John McCain, Jewish Mitt Romney, Jewish Barack Obama, Jewish Bill Clinton, and all those other Jewish American Presidents. Not to mention all those Jewish Nascar racers, Jewish members of the NRA and all those Jewish pro-athletes.

    Yep - those that say that the power in America is all Jewish, yep – how could anyone argue with you.

    October 21, 2013 at 3:29 pm |
    • cisco

      Some you forgot to mention:
      Michael Bennet (D-CO)
      Richard Blumenthal (D-CT)
      Barbara Boxer (D-CA)
      Benjamin Cardin (D-MD)
      Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)
      Al Franken (D-MN)
      Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ)
      Carl Levin (D-MI)
      Brian Schatz (D-HI)
      Bernard Sanders (I-VT)
      Charles Schumer (D-NY)
      Ron Wyden (D-OR)

      House of Reps.
      Eric Cantor (R-VA)
      David Cicilline (D-RI)
      Stephen Cohen (D-TN)
      Susan Davis (D-CA)
      Ted Deutch (D-FL)
      Eliot Engel (D-NY)
      Lois Frankel (D-FL)*
      Alan Grayson (D-FL)*
      Steve Israel (D-NY)
      Sander Levin (D-MI)
      Alan Lowenthal (D-CA)*
      Nita Lowey (D-NY)
      Jerrold Nadler (D-NY)
      Jared Polis (D-CO)
      Jan Schakowsky (D-IL)
      Adam Schiff (D-CA)
      Brad Schneider (D-IL)*
      Allyson Schwartz (D-PA)
      Brad Sherman (D-CA)
      Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL)
      Henry Waxman (D-CA)
      John Yarmuth (D-KY)

      Tony Blinken Deputy National Security Advisor
      Danielle Borrin Director of Intergovernmental Affairs; Deputy Director Public Engagement
      Gary Gensler Chairman, Commodity Futures Trading Commission
      Jack Lew Secretary of the Treasury
      Eric Lynn Middle East Policy Adviser
      Matt Nosanchuk Associate Director, Office of Public Engagement for Jewish Outreach
      David Plouffe Senior Advisor to the President
      Dan Shapiro Ambassador to Israel
      Gene Sperling Director, National Economic Council
      Adam Szubin Director, Office of Foreign Assets Control (Treasury)
      Janet Yellen Chairwoman, Federal Reserve

      October 23, 2013 at 9:51 pm |
  17. iran = evil


    October 21, 2013 at 3:56 pm |
    • Joyce chen

      Israel = apartheid, stolen land, mass murderers, US traitors.

      October 24, 2013 at 10:54 am |
  18. iran-= evil


    October 21, 2013 at 3:58 pm |
    • Joseph McCarthy

      If you can't drop that filthy Tea Party lingo above iran=evil, you need to just stop posting here. You're evidently another uncouth Tea Partier who believes everything that the right-wingers in Washington belch out! Please, the next time you post here, do cut the Tea Party lingo out.

      October 21, 2013 at 7:13 pm |
  19. my2bits

    Iran just sentenced 3 Christians to 80 lashes each for drinking wine....at the Lord's Supper, (Communion)
    Would anyone rationally give this country any feasibility whatsoever to obtain a nuclear weapon?

    October 21, 2013 at 4:22 pm |
    • Sharpy

      Four whites just murdered a young black child in the USA's South and you have the bomb and have used it so what is your point?

      October 24, 2013 at 11:43 am |

    Kelsey Davenport,
    You say more or less that "the Whitehouse is being unrealistic in its demands, but it does not need to accept a bad deal." But are you sure you know what the Whitehouse wants? It is not negotiating for peace with Iran, they are trying to end Iran's BOMB option peacefully. It is true that this is likely not possible. But this does not mean the Whitehouse should compromise on its CORE INTERESTS because any deal that does this is a bad deal. The line in quotes above makes me think you did not learn your lesson from north korea. If you know Iran's History, the new president of Iran's history the scope of deceat, concealing, fabricating, and reningging. Beyond this, the scope of Iran's program is beyond any peaceful purpose. Do you also buy iran's research into "Crushing a Sphere" at a facility on a Military Base was only to make Industrial diamonds?
    We should learn from the mistakes with North Korea. It is as simple as this... Iran give up your nuclear weapon option and we will lift our sanctions. If you don't we will cut you with sanctions until you bleed to death or you provoke war that will end your weapons program and your regime. Please stop trying to promote peace at the cost of creating another North Korea.

    October 21, 2013 at 4:35 pm |
    • Felix Unger

      Gee, what a stupid comment this is! This bozo needs to change his screen name from CRAZY TALK to STUPID TALK!

      October 22, 2013 at 10:47 am |
      • gykeee65

        I can't be pro USA because latley you are the United Soviet -evil empire- All usa wants is everybody to accept their life style,foriegn police,and more important NOT to say the TRUTH! Even if USA keep forgheting IKE&JFK-abot jewish dominating the world by proxy war etc still you ordinary american pple are just SLAVE of rostchiled!!! WWI was prolonged by jew and sure WW2 was the result of WW1 AND -ISRAEL WAS PUT ON PALESTINA 2 pple and just a small country-usa gave them nuclear bomb but not the arabs etc!!!is this -by the pple for the pple-? No it's a big lie!!!

        October 23, 2013 at 11:51 am |
      • Sharpy

        Well said Felix! Crazy talk needs a lesson on history and should think with his big head not his heart, I know it's sad to find out your Country is the evil one!

        October 24, 2013 at 11:48 am |
    • aspecht

      It's a good thing that none of our presidents have a history a deceit, concealing, fabricating and reneging. Otherwise one might think that the United States has intentions beyond any peaceful purpose. We sure wouldn't want others to unfairly label us as hypocrites.

      How can one become so blind and deaf to our own actions that we chastise others for the same behavior we are guilty of?

      November 22, 2013 at 8:57 pm |
  21. Joseph McCarthy

    What we need to do is just simply ignore all these ignorant fools here who don't want any kind of deal with Iran and continue with the same stupid policy toward that country that we've been pursuing since 1979 and get serious. If both countries come together, it could be nothing but good news for everyone except the cursed warmongers in Washington D.C.!

    October 21, 2013 at 7:08 pm |
  22. observer1776

    From Debkafile:
    n his trip to Tehran this week, Russian Air Force Chief Gen. Viktor Bondarev and his hosts, Brig. Gen. Hassan Shasafi and other senior Iranian military chiefs, laid the groundwork for transactions to upgrade military ties between Moscow and Tehran to a level unprecedented in their past relations, as well as posing a challenge to America’s military status in the region. Iran is bidding for Russian technology to upgrade its missiles, extend their range and improve their precision, and Russian fighters, interceptors, transports and refueling planes for its air force.

    While Kerry talks, the Iranians continue serious arming including the ability to deliver their nuclear warheads on an ICBM basis,

    October 21, 2013 at 7:40 pm |
    • Sharpy

      If you condemn this then you must see how much more the USA needs to be condemned for they have their bomb and missiles and your military is 1000 times larger so you must really hate the USA!

      October 24, 2013 at 11:55 am |
  23. JAL

    On a different topic, there is no question that WW1 & WW2 had a negative impact on the progress of technology. My question is: By how much?

    October 21, 2013 at 8:27 pm |
  24. Mike

    This article is right on.

    Iran has been reforming for the last 30 years, regardless of what the truly shameless far-right Israeli lobby claims, in its attempts to keep America on a constant war-footing with Iran.

    Iran has unfortunately supported groups that have committed terrorism, but that is no different than other major Middle Eastern countries, including Israel (support for Jundallah, according to Mark Perry in Foreign Policy magazine, sponsorship of terrorist carbombs against Iranian educators and scientists), Saudi Arabia, and other Gulf Arab states (funding Saddam Hussein during the worst of the chemical weapons attacks against Iran).

    The fact is, Iran's pro-democracy Green Movement says the sanctions are devastating to ordinary Iranians and the cause of reform in Iran. For those wanting a more moderate Iran, economically imprisoning the Iranian people inside their country with sanctions is about the worst thing that can be done.

    The real agenda here is regime change, which will very likely result in a U.S.-Iran war that will cost the U.S. another $2 trillion.

    Don't forget, it was Netanyahu who appeared before Congress in 2002 claiming he believed Saddam was guaranteed to have a WMD program, and needed to be overthrown through a U.S. invasion. Don't forget he cheered on the overthrow of the Libyan government. He never addresses the aftermaths of these U.S. interventions. He only looks to push the U.S. into another.

    The Israeli PM and his warmongering cheerleaders need to be ignored, and a deal that normalizes relations between Iran and the U.S. needs to be forged, for the sake of tens of millions of Iranian people (who desperately want sanctions lifted) and hundreds of millions of Americans.

    October 22, 2013 at 1:46 am |
  25. Jed

    Anyone who wears a diaper on his/her head and believes in the lunacy of Islam, cannot be trusted, especially when setting limitations of nuclear enrichment is on the table.

    October 22, 2013 at 12:35 pm |
  26. fk iran

    fk Joseph McCarthy who love Iran and the terrorists , FK THE TEA PARTY AND FK ALL VILLOGE IDIOTS..

    October 22, 2013 at 5:09 pm |
    • George patton

      The above appears to be something that either Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann or Christine O'Donnell would post. Then again, any Tea Partier could have posted the above since they all harbor pretty much the same hatred!!!

      October 22, 2013 at 7:38 pm |
    • Greg Keener

      Like Joseph McCarthy already said earlier, this filthy Tea Party lingo has got to go! Have these people who use it no pride nor self respect? Obviously not!

      October 23, 2013 at 12:13 pm |
  27. rightospeak

    Not worth a comment-too much brainwashing and propaganda !

    October 23, 2013 at 9:41 am |

    Yammering about Iran's weapons systems is puppet talk. Kingdom of Saudi Arabia doesn't want Iran to have advanced weapons of ANY type and they press the US to pin Tehran to the wall about it. America's reward for being the Saudi's mercenary bully is cheap gas.
    But according to Reuters, Saudi Arabia is about to sever diplomatic ties with America because we retreated from attacking Syria and are trying to play nice with Iran. The cost to consumers will be very high gasoline costs and heavy inflation. That's what happens when you don't suck up to the Saudis (who are running out of oil anyway).
    and that's just me, hollering from the choir loft...

    October 23, 2013 at 1:48 pm |
    • Joseph McCarthy

      Why should we Americans care what the stupid Saudis think anyway, CHOIR LOFT? They're just a bunch of Islamic Aristocrats who put ever the U.S. dollar ahead of Allah as their god and care only for themselves! Besides, we can get the same amount of fuel for the same price from Russia, Iran and Venezuela so let's just ignore Saudi demands!

      October 23, 2013 at 2:15 pm |
  29. Joyce chen

    Fareed, I wish you would STOP YOUR HYPE on the Iranian nuclear program. "Insisting on zero enrichment is not an effective solution to stopping Iran's dangerous nuclear pursuits" – DANGEROUS NUCLEAR PURSUITS?!!! Is that what the Jews told you SPIN on Iran?!! DANGEROUS would be a country like Israel, or your beloved India!

    October 24, 2013 at 10:51 am |

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