Citylife Ad
Sep 19, 2014
  GoDubai Daily News
 Home
 UAE
 Middle East
 Asia
 World
 Business
 Sports
 Entertainment


  Go Dubai Services
 Daily Horoscope
 Tip of the day
 Recipe of the day
 Joke of the day
 Weather
 Events (UAE)
 Press releases
 Prayer timings
 Opinion poll

Want to know the cheapest airfare to your dream destination?

Ask Our Travel Experts

Other Experts

  • Medical Doctors
  • Alternative Therapists
  • Finance Consultant
  • Real Estate Agents
  • Computer Experts
  • Beauty Therapists
  • Auto Expert
  • Seeking Experts
  •   
    Congress raises questions about secret Iran talks

    Report says much of the November 24 deal among world powers and Iran resulted from secret meetings between US and Iranian officials.

    Lawmakers are raising questions about the secret US diplomacy with Iran that led to last month’s nuclear breakthrough, demanding greater transparency and expressing disappointment at being left in the dark.

    The Associated Press has reported that much of the November 24 deal among world powers and Iran resulted from a series of secret meetings between US and Iranian officials. The talks took place in Oman and elsewhere over eight months.

    On Wednesday, Sen. Bob Corker, a Republican who recently visited Oman and discussed the diplomatic back-channel with the country’s foreign minister, asked one of the American officials involved to explain the process.

    Puneet Talwar, President Barack Obama’s senior Mideast adviser who has been nominated for a senior State Department post, responded by saying he met with an Iranian team in Oman in the summer of 2012 and then again in March 2013. He said the talks only heated up after Iran’s moderate president Hasan Rohani took office in August.

    “We then had an accelerating pace of discussions bilaterally with the Iranians,” Talwar said at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing. He said the discussions, however, were constantly linked to public, parallel negotiations involving Iran and the US, Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia.

    “It was made clear,” Talwar said. “It focused exclusively on the nuclear issue, so there were no other side discussions underway. And it was merged, after the conversations gained traction,” with the process involving the global powers.

    The agreement last month required Iran to halt and roll back central elements of its nuclear programme. That included eliminating its production and stockpiles of higher-enriched uranium, banning the addition of any new centrifuges and barring any work on a heavy water reactor that potentially could produce plutonium for nuclear bombs.

    In exchange for its concessions, the US and its partners agreed to ease economic penalties that the Obama administration estimates at about $7 billion.

    The administration also promised no new penalties for the six-month duration of the deal, a source of lingering contention with skeptical lawmakers in Congress.

    In weekend comments, Obama played down the significance of the secret talks.

    Appearing at the Brookings Institution, he said the contacts were few and focused on seeing how serious Iran was about engaging in serious negotiations.

    “They did not get highly substantive in the first several meetings but were much more exploring how much room, in fact, did they have to get something done,” Obama said. As they became more technical, he added, the discussions merged with the public talks with world powers.

    Sen. Marco Rubio, a Florida Republican, made clear his disappointment at not being informed of the private diplomacy.

    Rubio asked Talwar if any member of Congress had been briefed; Talwar said he didn’t believe so.

    Rubio also asked whether other issues came up in the talks, such as human rights, Iran’s support for Hezbollah and Hamas, and an alleged Iranian assassination plot against Saudi Arabia’s ambassador in Washington.

    Talwar said only that the fate of three detained Americans in Iran had been discussed.

    On Tuesday, Rep. Matt Salmon, an Arizona Republican, accused the State Department of deliberately misleading the public. He said such deception raises questions about the administration’s current information on Iran.

    “The administration claimed not to be in negotiations with Iran, when they in fact were,” Salmon said, specifically accusing a former State Department spokeswoman of misleading reporters in February by flatly denying the existence of bilateral discussions.

    “Your department,” Salmon told Secretary of State John Kerry, “intentionally misled the American people about these negotiations taking place behind closed doors. So how can we have the confidence that the information you’re giving us now is on the level?”

    Kerry said he’d look into the comments from nine months ago and respond. He promised complete accountability on his own part.

    At a private hearing in the Capitol last week, aides said Rep. Michele Bachmann, a former Republican presidential candidate, demanded to know the details of any Iranian talks involving White House adviser Valerie Jarrett.

    Jarrett, who was born in Iran while her father worked there as a development expert, has been the grist of partisan blogs and an Israeli media report suggesting some role in backdoor diplomacy. But the administration has denied any involvement by Jarrett.

    At the briefing, Undersecretary of State Wendy Sherman said that in the more than two years she has served as America’s lead nuclear negotiator with Iran, she hasn’t spoken to Jarrett once about the country, according to aides with knowledge of the exchange.

    The aides spoke on condition of anonymity, saying they couldn’t talk about a hearing that was partly classified and was supposed to be private.

    (AP)

     
    Email this article Print this article Discuss this article
     
     
    Back to World Main page >>

    How to be a soccer fan in the age of austerity

    GDANSK - Couch-surfing, a junk-food diet, bootleg kits, budget flights at punishing hours, and above all enough passion for the beautiful game to remind yourself why you endure this.
    Welcome to the life of a football fan in the age of austerity. <...
    What’s behind road deaths?

    Road accident fatalities in 2013 stood at 651. Mathematically speaking, a little less than two lives were lost every day. While this number is lesser than the 720 deaths in 2011, it is by no means acceptable.
    Pick up any newspaper over the past ...
     
    Great Discounts on Dubai Hotels. Book Now !
     
      More Top Stories


    Dubai Q1 trade hits Dh326b
    Boeing expected to deliver more aircraft in Middle East this year
    Majid Al Futtaim plans new mall in Dubai
    Emaar first quarter profit climbs 55%
    Cash buyers buoy UAE real estate market
    Etisalat offers shared data plans for business customers
    Dubai Holding unit’s profit jumps
    Emaar Properties launches ‘Samara’ villas
    Expo 2020 boosts growth, investment opportunities
    Nakheel eyes Dh8 billion new projects
    Empower acquires Palm Utilities in $500m deal
    China may overtake US as No. 1 economy
    Dubai Investments exports rocket 129% in last 5 years
    UAE equities to stay bullish
    Dubai foreign trade crosses Dh1 trillion
    Expo win inspiring Dubai Financial Market
    Dubai looks all set to enjoy heightened investor interest
    Dubai to hike spending 11%
    Dubai to lead Islamic economy
    Islamic economy summit begins today
    UAE jumps in IDI ranking
    Dubai tracks new levels of growth
    More housing units in Dubai
    UAE job market rebounds
    Safe haven status helps Dubai real estate recover
    Islamic finance industry is fastest growing sector

     
    © 2004 GoDubai.com
    All Rights Reserved.
    Terms under which this service is provided to you.
    Read our privacy guidelines.
    Contact our advertising team for advertising /promotions and
    sponsorship on GoDubai.com