November 20th, 2013
11:51 AM ET

Iran Plan Takes Stage in Geneva

A breakthrough deal on Iran's nuclear program could be on the horizon - even though Western allies are splintered on the terms.

World leaders will meet Wednesday in Geneva, Switzerland, to discuss a proposed deal that would loosen economic sanctions against Tehran in exchange for a suspension of part of its nuclear program.

The Geneva talks involve Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council - the United States, Russia, China, Great Britain and France - as well as Germany in what is known as the P5+1 in diplomatic shorthand.

U.S. National Security Adviser Susan Rice said the plan would benefit the global community.

"The international community would have unprecedented access to Iran's nuclear facilities and full transparency into what they're doing, so they wouldn't have the ability to sneak out or break out," Rice said.

Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes  spoke to Kate Bolduan on "New Day" Wednesday saying "In the last rounds in Geneva we narrowed the differences significantly. And going into this round of talks, we have a unified position with our partners. So basically, there is a deal that the Iranians should take. And it'd be a good deal for us, because it would stop the progress of the Iranian nuclear program for the first time in a decade."

But Israel, the United States' closest ally in the region, staunchly opposes the tentative plan.

"It's a bad deal - an exceedingly bad deal," Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told CNN this week.

Netanyahu opposes lifting some sanctions now without getting further concessions to ensure Iran would be unable to continue with uranium enrichment and other steps.

"I think you should not only keep up the pressure; I think you should increase the pressure, because it's finally working," Netanyahu said, labeling Iran's economy as close to paralysis. "If you give it up now, when you have that pressure, and Iran doesn't even take apart, dismantle one centrifuge, what leverage will you have when you've eased the pressure?"

At the same time, Netanyahu repeated his insistence that Israel "always reserves the right to defend itself against any threat," which is diplomat-speak for a military strike on Iran's nuclear facilities to stop the development of a weapon.

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soundoff (One Response)
  1. changeirannow

    Sanctions against Iran should be relaxed only after the machinery and materials necessary to develop a nuclear weapon are destroyed or moved out of the country. Additionally, nuclear negotiations MUST include the release of all Iranian political prisoners including the 7 Camp Ashraf residents taken hostage under the direction of Iran’s religious fascists. The UN, the EU, the U.S. must pressure the government of Iraq until it releases the seven hostages. All of the residents are protected persons under the Geneva Convention. The US and the UN has clear responsibility in protecting them, but failed to do so when it had left the Iranian dissidents living in the camp to the mercy of the Iranian subordinates. Such crimes against humanity must not go unheeded.

    November 21, 2013 at 10:55 pm | Reply

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