Hours after a report in Israel claimed the US and Iran have made major progress in secret negotiations toward an agreement on Iran’s rogue nuclear program, a senior US official told a UN panel that there were “potentially historic opportunities” to rein in the Iranians.
“We should be cautious but cognizant of potentially historic opportunities,” Rose Gottemoeller, the US assistant secretary of state for arms control said. Speaking to a UN disarmament committee, Gottemoeller encouraged its members to “continue to push to bring Iran back into line with its international nuclear obligations.”
Gottemoeller, who was speaking ahead of a new round of talks between Iran and the P5+1 nations over the Iranian nuclear program in Geneva, said the US was “ready to talk… ready to listen” and “ready to work hard” to make the new effort at engagement a success, but cautioned: The road toward the next steps might not be familiar and it will require difficult negotiations and complicated diplomacy.”
Gottemoeller spoke to the committee hours after an Israeli TV report had claimed that Iran and the United States have secretly made “significant progress” toward an agreement that would aim to keep Iran “two or three years away” from a nuclear weapons capability, and would see an easing of economic sanctions on the Islamic Republic.
“Israel knows [about] this,” the report added.
The TV report came just a day after Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned against “a bad deal” being done with Iran, under which sanctions were eased but Iran was left with the capacity to enrich uranium and/or pursue a plutonium route to the bomb.