The Obama administration is on the defensive days before Iran nuclear negotiations are scheduled to resume in Geneva, as critics in Israel and in the U.S. Congress say Iran would concede too little and gain too much from an easing of international economic sanctions.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said that failing to pursue diplomacy on Iran’s disputed nuclear program would be irresponsible and urged Congress to become more involved in efforts to halt the spread of nuclear weapons.
After encouraging signs at the United Nations and the highest-level contact between the U.S. and Iran in 35 years -- a phone call between President Barack Obama and his Iranian counterpart, Hassan Rouhani -- hurdles still line the path to a deal on Iran’s nuclear program.
The Obama administration will urge China and other governments in Asia, the Middle East and South America to impose sanctions on Iran in a widening effort to persuade the regime to abandon any pursuit of nuclear weapons.
The U.S. government is concerned Iran may be working with Chinese companies to obtain sensitive technology that may be useful for developing a nuclear weapons capability, Robert Einhorn , the State Department’s special adviser for nonproliferation and arms control, said yesterday.
A senior U.S. official said Japan agrees on the need to increase pressure on Iran to prevent the Mideast nation from developing nuclear weapons, and sought to ease concerns that doing so will drive up oil prices.
Iran’s offer to negotiate a deal on its suspected nuclear weapons program with the International Atomic Energy Agency, the five permanent United Nations Security Council members and Germany is being met with skepticism.