November 24th, 2013
10:28 AM ET

Kerry: Israel is safer under new deal

By CNN's Ashley Killough

Secretary of State John Kerry insisted Sunday that the interim agreement to halt Iran’s nuclear program makes Israel safer – though Israel says the agreement has exactly the opposite effect.

“We believe very strongly that because the Iranian nuclear program is actually set backwards and is actually locked into place in critical places, that that is better for Israel than if you were just continuing to go down the road and they rush towards a nuclear weapon,” Kerry said in an interview that aired Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union” – just hours after world powers and Iran reached the historic agreement.

Kerry cautioned that strong verification tactics will be needed in order to hold Iran accountable to the deal.

“When you're dealing with nuclear weapons, it's not an issue of trust,” Kerry said. “Verification is the key.”

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Filed under: Iran • Nuclear • Sec. State John Kerry
November 24th, 2013
09:58 AM ET

3-decade gridlock broken: The nuclear deal with Iran in Geneva

By Jim Sciutto and Ben Brumfield, CNN

The diplomatic gridlock between Iran and the West seemed immovable for decades. But on Sunday, diplomats made history when Iran and six world powers came together on an agreement over Iran's nuclear program.

The deal dials back Iran's ability to work toward a nuclear weapon and at the same time loosens the choke hold of international sanctions on Iran's economy.

The two sides now have six months to find out how historic the breakthrough really is. That's the duration of the preliminary agreement hammered out in Geneva, Switzerland, by Iran and the P5+1 - the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany.

"There are lots of things, regrettably, that we still have to work on. Our hope is that Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Javad Zarif want to build this different relationship, want to show in clear ways as we go forward that the program is peaceful," U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told CNN's "State of the Union."

After years of distrust, is Iran's nuclear deal near?
November 23rd, 2013
12:53 PM ET

After years of distrust, is Iran's nuclear deal near?

By Jim Sciutto and Ben Brumfield, CNN

There were key meetings on Iran's nuclear program Saturday, but the clock is ticking for a deal to be reached during this round of negotiations.

Both sides have hinted that a deal in close, and foreign ministers from all the participating countries hastily flocked to Geneva, but as the hours passed, some ministers announced their intention to leave.

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Filed under: Iran • Nuclear
Western official: Iran nuclear deal may be imminent
November 22nd, 2013
07:08 PM ET

Western official: Iran nuclear deal may be imminent

By CNN's Jim Sciutto and Greg Botelho

Momentum appears to be building for a breakthrough deal on Iran's nuclear program, with top diplomats flocking to the site of ongoing talks and one Western official saying Friday a deal could be reached "as soon as tonight."

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and British Foreign Secretary William Hague will both be in Geneva on Saturday. French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius headed to the Swiss city on Friday night, according to an European Union diplomatic source, and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi has left Beijing for Geneva, according to his ministry's website.

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Kerry to join other top diplomats for Iran nuclear talks
November 22nd, 2013
03:46 PM ET

Kerry to join other top diplomats for Iran nuclear talks

By CNN Chief National Security Correspondent Jim Sciutto

In a possible sign of a breakthrough, several top diplomats - including those from the United States, Russia, the European Union and Iran - met in or headed to Geneva on Friday for talks on Tehran's nuclear program.

U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said that Secretary of State John Kerry would depart for the Swiss city "later today with the goal of continuing to help narrow the differences and move closer to an agreement." The American diplomat is expected to land there around 7:45 a.m. Saturday (1:45 a.m. ET), according to a Western official.

 

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Meet the American 'badass' leading negotiations with Iran
November 21st, 2013
06:58 PM ET

Meet the American 'badass' leading negotiations with Iran

By CNN Foreign Affairs Reporter Elise Labott

Social work and community organizing may seem unlikely career experiences for a lead negotiator to draw on in high-stakes nuclear talks with Iran.

But in an interview before she headed to Geneva this week for the negotiations, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman joked that while her caseload may be more global now, the work is similar.

“Understanding who the person is across the table from you, watching the group dynamics and knowing when to intervene, scoping out situations and seeing where the points of leverage are and how you can reach your objective, are a set of skills I was trained with earlier in my life and have used in any setting I have been in,” Sherman said. “You have to understand what you’ve come to achieve but be very cognizant of all of the other pieces. You need a 360-degree view.”

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U.S. officials reject 'abhorrent' comments by Iranian leader
A handout picture released by the official website of Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, shows him delivering a speech during a gathering of Basij in Tehran on November 20, 2013.
November 21st, 2013
04:17 PM ET

U.S. officials reject 'abhorrent' comments by Iranian leader

By Jamie Crawford

They may have been directed to a domestic audience, but some offensive remarks from Iran's supreme leader drew heated responses from senior officials in the Obama administration.

At issue were remarks by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to a gathering of senior military officials in Tehran earlier this week in which he said Israeli officials "cannot be even called humans," and referred to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as "the rabid dog of the region."

"Well, obviously we disagree with it profoundly," Secretary of State John Kerry said in testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Thursday.

"It's inflammatory and it's unnecessary, and I think at this moment, when we are trying to negotiate and figure out what can and can't be achieved, the last thing we need are names back and forth," Kerry said.
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CNN Poll: More than half back Iranian nuclear deal
November 21st, 2013
04:13 PM ET

CNN Poll: More than half back Iranian nuclear deal

By Paul Steinhauser

A majority of Americans support an interim deal with Iran that would ease some economic sanctions on that country in exchange for concessions on Iran's nuclear program, according to a new national poll.

A CNN/ORC International survey released Thursday indicates that 56% of the public would favor an international agreement that would impose major restrictions on Iran's nuclear program but not end it completely, with 39% opposed to such an agreement.

"Predictably, there is a partisan divide on that issue, with two-thirds of Democrats favoring a deal along those lines but only 45% of Republicans agreeing with that view," CNN Polling Director Keating Holland said.

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Iran nuclear talks: 11 things you need to know
A general view of the heavy water plant in Arak, 320 kms south of Tehran. Iran's nuclear reactor being built at Arak figures highly in the discussions.
November 20th, 2013
08:44 AM ET

Iran nuclear talks: 11 things you need to know

By Nick Thompson

Iran and world powers are resuming talks in Geneva amid high hopes that a diplomatic solution to Iran's nuclear program will finally be reached.

But while the P5+1 - the U.S., UK, France, Russia, China and Germany - and Iran appear to be closer than ever to striking a deal, there are still a lot of details to iron out.

Read our explainer to get up to speed on 60 years' worth of nuclear history in Iran.

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Filed under: Diplomacy • Iran • Nuclear • Sanctions
November 20th, 2013
08:24 AM ET

Iran nuclear talks: Controversial plan takes the stage

By Tom Cohen and Holly Yan

A breakthrough deal on Iran's nuclear program could be on the horizon - even though Western allies are splintered on the terms.

World leaders will meet Wednesday in Geneva, Switzerland, to discuss a proposed deal that would loosen economic sanctions against Tehran in exchange for a suspension of part of its nuclear program.

The Geneva talks involve Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council - the United States, Russia, China, Great Britain and France - as well as Germany in what is known as the P5+1 in diplomatic shorthand.

U.S. National Security Adviser Susan Rice said the plan would benefit the global community.
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Filed under: Diplomacy • Iran • Nuclear
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