Monday, September 14, 2015

NUCLEAR DEAL - U.S. Negotiator Comments

"U.S. negotiator talks holding Iran to its nuclear deal obligations" PBS NewsHour 9/9/2015


SUMMARY:  Former Deputy Secretary of State William Burns headed a secret negotiating team that met with high level Iranian representatives first in 2008 under President George W. Bush, and then in earnest in 2013, when the Obama and Rouhani governments revived the talks.  Chief foreign affairs correspondent Margaret Warner interviews Burns about the deal and whether Iran will comply.

MARGARET WARNER (NewsHour):  William Burns, thank you for joining us.

WILLIAM BURNS, Former U.S. Deputy Secretary of State:  It’s a pleasure to be with you.

MARGARET WARNER:  Now that it’s clear that the president has at least the votes he needs to get this Iran deal through somehow, does it matter internationally whether he has to do it by veto or whether he is able to somehow finesse having a vote at all?

WILLIAM BURNS:  Well, I think the more quickly this can be accomplished on the Hill, I think the better it is for the United States as a demonstration of our commitment to this agreement, and then to focus on implementation, which is going to be a real challenge for all of us.

MARGARET WARNER:  Now, there are some Republican members of Congress who are talking already about, once the deal goes through, slapping new sanctions on Iran, unilateral ones that are non-nuclear-related.

Would that throw a monkey wrench in the works either on the Iranian or on the implementation side?

WILLIAM BURNS:  It could, is the honest answer.

So, I think the real issue here is less new measures at this point, and it’s more the rigorous implementation of those provisions which already exist to push back against Iranian behavior, whether it’s support for terrorism in the region directly through proxies or human rights practices that we have continued to condemn.

MARGARET WARNER:  So do you mean more rigorous than we are now?

WILLIAM BURNS:  Yes, I think there are things that we can do working with others to try to interdict arms shipments to Hezbollah, as well as to Houthis in Yemen.  I think we’re in a stronger position to do that now that we’re moving ahead with implementation of the nuclear agreement.

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