Unfinished Business

Unfinished BusinessUnfinished Business

Former US under secretary of state for political affairs Wendy Sherman says after the July 14 nuclear agreement between Tehran and major powers, including the United States, there is still “pending business” with Iran, referring to other disputes between the two countries such as their differences on regional issues.

Sherman, who was the lead US negotiator on the Iran nuclear talks, made the remarks in an interview with NPR aired on Friday.

When asked why the nuclear talks did not address the countless other differences the US has with Iran, she said, “Well, this was really in response to [UN] Security Council resolutions that had been passed that urged Iran to come to the negotiating table specifically to deal with their nuclear weapons capability and potential to have a nuclear weapon. And indeed, ironically, at the beginning of this process, [Persian] Gulf states said please don’t discuss regional issues because we’re not in the room, and it’s our interests that are at stake.”

Iran denies its nuclear program may have any military aspects, saying the work is totally for peaceful applications.

On the possible impact of the nuclear accord on Tehran-Washington relations, Sherman said, “I think we have, you know, decades of mistrust between Iran and the US. I don’t think that mistrust is going to go away because of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action [the official name of the pact].”