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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Jamal Abdi
Phone: 202-386-6408
Email: jabdi@niacouncil.org

Washington, DC – Trita Parsi, president of the National Iranian American Council (NIAC), issued the following statement commending the progress of nuclear negotiations between Iran, the U.S. and P5+1 in Geneva over the past three days:

“The United States and Iran made major leaps forward in nuclear negotiations over the past three days, overcoming thirty-four years of mutual enmity and preparing to sign a historic agreement that would prevent an unnecessary war and freeze Iran’s nuclear program.  Secretary of State John Kerry, Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, High Representative Catherine Ashton, and many other negotiators deserve tremendous credit for bringing the P5+1 and Iran to the brink of a deal.”

 “Unfortunately, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius appears to have arrived in Geneva intent on playing spoiler, raising unnecessary objections and stalling an interim deal that would have resulted in key concessions from each side.  This intransigence is particularly unfortunate because the window for diplomacy is limited, as both the United States and Iran have reiterated, and France sinking a deal – albeit temporarily – provides an opening for hard liners in Congress and Iran to sabotage diplomatic progress.  Both President Obama and Iranian President Rouhani are maximizing their political capital to attain a deal – if they are unable to do so, Foreign Minister Fabius and French President Francois Hollande will have to take at least a large share of responsibility for the consequences: an unconstrained Iranian nuclear program and war.”

 “In the U.S. Congress, there are threats to move forward with sanctions as early as this week, either through the National Defense Authorization Act or the Banking Committee.  Moving forward would unravel the delicate diplomatic process and risk collapsing the international sanctions regime at the same time without a single Iranian concession.  Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nv), Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) Sen. Tim Johnson ( D-SD), and Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) must do everything in their power to block sanctions from moving forward to enable the President and P5+1 to overcome French obstruction and strike a deal.  It is imperative that moderates in the U.S. and Iran prevail, and it will take the continued strong support of the American and Iranian people for compromise and negotiation to succeed.”

 
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