US Secretary of State John Kerry proudly announced in comments to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty summit on Monday that they are the closest the world has ever been to a nuclear deal with Iran, as the June 30 deadline for finalizing the agreement looms. “I want you to know the hard work is far from over and some key issues remain unresolved,” Kerry was quoted by a State Department press release as saying. “But we are, in fact, closer than ever to the good comprehensive deal that we have been seeking.”
Meanwhile, a key point of disagreement was raised again by Iran, namely that they are still insisting that all sanctions be removed the same day an agreement commences. Fars News Agency reported that Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Sunday that “agreement and sanctions aren’t compatible.” And it’s that issue—removing sanctions—that has come under fire from former US President George W. Bush.
CNN reported that Bush told a group of political donors that lifting sanctions would make it more difficult for the US to keep Iran from developing nuclear weapons. Bush also pointed out that the supposedly-moderate Iranian President Hassan Rouhani was allowed to run for president by the extremist Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, whom Bush says really runs Iran.
(By Joshua Spurlock, www.themideastupdate.com, April 27, 2015)