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U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry resumes nuclear negotiations with Iran

By
Andrew V. Pestano
Secretary of State John Kerry is working toward a late March deadline to seal a deal with Iran over its nuclear program. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI
Secretary of State John Kerry is working toward a late March deadline to seal a deal with Iran over its nuclear program. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

MONTREUX, Switzerland, March 4 (UPI) -- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif have continued nuclear negotiations despite objections by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

It is the third day of negotiations in Montreux, Switzerland, aimed at restraining Iran's nuclear program in exchange for relief from sanctions placed on the country. Kerry, joined by U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, has until late March to reach an agreement with Iranian representatives.

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Netanyahu delivered a speech to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday in which he expressed deep concern about a potential nuclear deal with Iran and demanded the nation stop its aggression against Middle East neighbors.

Netanyahu described Iran as a "threat to the entire world." He also said Kerry "confirmed last week that Iran could legitimately possess" 190,000 centrifuges to enrich uranium, which could put Iran "weeks away" from having nuclear weapons.

Netanyahu took Kerry out of context, according to FactCheck. Kerry spoke to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs on Feb. 25 and said generally that in a "civilian power plant that's producing power legitimately, and not a threat to proliferation, you could have as many as 190,000 or more centrifuges," not specifically speaking about Iran.

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President Barack Obama said Netanyahu's speech "offered no viable alternatives" to a deal with Iran.

U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Ky., said the speech was "straight out of the Dick Cheney playbook - fear-mongering at its worst." Iranian officials called the speech "boring and repetitive" and "Iranophobic."

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