|Iran deal will permit enrichment program: Sherman||
TEHRAN – U.S. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman said on Saturday night that in a comprehensive agreement Iran would be able to maintain a domestic enrichment program that answers its practical needs, according to Haaretz.
In a briefing to reporters in Jerusalem, Sherman, who leads the U.S. negotiation team to the nuclear talks between Iran and six world powers, stressed that this program would have to be “limited, discreet, constrained, monitored and verified.”
If the Iranian domestic nuclear enrichment program does not meet these conditions there will be no agreement, Sherman said.
Like Israel, the United States “would like there to be zero enrichment” but that is an “unlikely” expectation, she added.
The senior U.S. diplomat arrived on Friday in Jerusalem from Vienna, after three days of talks with Iranian negotiators.
Sherman told reporters in Jerusalem the six world powers and Iran have the “intent and commitment” to reach a comprehensive agreement by July 20.
Sherman added, though, “if we feel we need another week, we will use it, but any decision to prolong the talks must be made by mutual consent, so that nobody plays for time.”
In what appears to be a message to the Israeli government and to hawks in the U.S. Congress calling for more sanctions against Iran, Sherman said the United States hopes no one will interfere with the talks.
“We don’t enter these talks with rose-colored glasses and we don’t know yet if we can resolve this diplomatically,” she said. “It will be critical that our negotiators and partners have the space to get this done diplomatically. The talks with Iran will be very hard and we can’t afford to make it even harder.”
Sherman said it is important for the United States to hear Israel’s positions on the Iranian issue. “Sometimes we agree with Israel and sometimes we don’t but it’s important for us to get input and ideas from Israel,” she said. “I work hard to talk with my Israeli counterparts before and after each round of talks with Iran.”
Sherman said the key word in ensuring the Iranian nuclear program is completely peaceful is “verification.”
Elsewhere in her remarks, Sherman said, “The possible military dimensions of the Iranian nuclear program will have to be addressed in some way,” she said.
“The more Iran can work with IAEA about the possible military dimension the better chance we will have a comprehensive agreement.”
Sherman said there are no indications Iran has reneged on commitments it has made since the beginning of the talks.
U.S. President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will meet next week in Washington and have a “vigorous and robust” discussion about Iran, Sherman said.
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