Harf: Best Chance to Settle Nuclear Issue

Harf: Best Chance to Settle Nuclear Issue Harf: Best Chance to Settle Nuclear Issue

An advisor to US Secretary of State John Kerry said the current talks between Iran and the major powers offer “the best chance” to resolve the 12-year dispute over Tehran’s nuclear program.

Marie Harf, who has recently been appointed as senior advisor for strategic communications, made the comment in a press briefing on Friday, according to a transcript of her remarks posted on the website of the State Department.

She said, “Two years ago I was standing at this podium, and we weren’t even having public meetings with the Iranians about this. In that time, we’ve gotten an agreement (referring to the interim nuclear deal Iran and the major powers reached in Geneva in late 2013) that’s frozen the progress of their program and rolled it back in some key areas; that’s led to us being a few weeks away from possibly a comprehensive agreement to deal with this issue once and for all. Does that mean we’re going to get there? No. But we have the best chance we’ve ever had for diplomacy to solve this problem.”

Iran and the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany) are in talks to finalize a comprehensive accord by a self-imposed June 30 deadline.

Asked what could potentially sabotage a possible deal with Iran, Harf said, “I think there are an incredible amount of very technical details that have to be worked out to make sure our bottom lines are met, to make sure Iran can get to a place where they support the agreement, and all of our P5+1 partners. I think there are very tough political decisions that have to be made on many of those technical issues that are not going to be easy, and if this were easy, it would’ve been done months or years ago.”