Secretary of State John Kerry defended the Obama administration's decision to take the Iran deal to the United Nations before the U.S. Congress votes on it. Kerry made the remarks in an interview this morning on ABC News:
The ABC reporter, Jon Karl, asked, "But the bottom line, the UN is going to vote on this before Congress gets to vote on this?"
Two big deals were signed this week, with one thing in common – can-kicking. The Eurozone countries, more precisely Germany, kicked the Greek debt can down the road for three years by lending the already over-indebted country another €86bn.
The State Department will hang the Cuban flag in the lobby of the State Department building on Monday in recognition of the imminent reopening of the communist nation's embassy in Washington. The AP's Matt Lee reports:
It's not hard to figure out why the Obama administration is lashing out at critics of the deal it signed with Iran last week. The White House has been pretending it’s a nuclear deal but knows that it really isn’t. Everyone from the president to the secretary of state and his negotiating team is selling it as a historic achievement. The White House, Obama said, “has achieved something that decades of animosity has not: a comprehensive long-term deal with Iran that will prevent it from obtaining a nuclear weapon.”
Just one day after the Iran deal was announced, the State Department tweeted a video in which Under Secretary Wendy Sherman, a lead U.S. negotiator, recounts something Secretary of State John Kerry said at the close of the Iran negotiations.
Secretary of State John Kerry says "progress" has been made with the Iranians. And some things have been "resolved."
"We’ve had meetings since early this morning. We have a couple of different lines of discussion that are going on right now, but I think it’s safe to say that we have made progress today. The atmosphere is very constructive," Kerry told the press today in Vienna.
As the negotiations over a nuclear deal with Iran drag on in Vienna, the Boston Globe's Matt Viser provides an inside look at how the United States delegation spends its time as the top diplomats confer. Among the details about snacks and American officials falling asleep is a nugget about the U.S. delegation's Hollywood fantasies:
Iranian foreign minister Javad Zarif has released a YouTube message aimed apparently at his American negotiators. In the video, Zarif even suggests his nation and the United States are int he fight together against terrorism: "Our common threat today is the growing menace of violent extremism and outright barbarism."
Senator Chuck Grassley has written a series of letters to Attorney General Loretta Lynch, Secretary of State John Kerry, and Treasury Secretary Jack Lew demanding answers about a shady uranium deal with a company tied to the Clintons.
Vienna With Iranian foreign minister Javad Zarif’s one-day trip back to Tehran for consultations with supreme leader Ali Khamenei, it was a slow day for the nuclear talks here in the Austrian capital. Journalists are shuttling back and forth between the press tent and the lobby of the adjacent Marriott where Iranian intelligence officers, many of them posing as journalists, unabashedly photograph and film anyone that catches their attention. I opted out and spent the morning wandering around the city.