U.S. negotiations result of new level of seriousness from Iran
Jay Carney, the White House press secretary, made the remarks on Thursday during his daily press briefing. While Carney would not comment on the specifics of U.S. negotiating positions with Iran during the P5+1 negotiations in Geneva, he said there was no question that there has been new progress with Iran.
"There's no question... that over the course of the last weeks and days there has been progress," Carney said. "You saw that in the aftermath of the elections in Iran, and we've seen it in a new openness from Iranian leaders to the demands of the international community, that they meet their responsibilities when it comes to their nuclear weapons program."
Carney said the very extensive sanctions put in place against Iran helped the U.S. to get to this point in negotiations. He said that while the U.S. wants a diplomatic resolution to the challenge of Iran's nuclear program, there is a limited window of opportunity.
"So we're taking advantage of a new level of seriousness that we've seen to engage in negotiations, but we are doing it in a way that makes clear that actions are what matter here; that steps that the P5+1 would insist upon in return for the moderate relief that I described would have to be verifiable, and it would be reversible," Carney said. "And if a comprehensive agreement were not reached, that relief would be terminated, and there would be the opportunity to ratchet up sanctions further."