U.S.: Iran responsible if nuclear talks fail

Iran is currently in a new round of negotiations with international powers, seeking to reach a deal

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Iran would widely be held responsible if negotiations to curb its nuclear program in exchange for eased sanctions fail without reaching a comprehensive deal, top. negotiator U.S. Under-Secretary of State Wendy Sherman said on Thursday.

“We hope the leaders in Tehran will agree to the steps necessary to assure the world that this program will be exclusively peaceful and thereby end Iran's economic and diplomatic isolation and improve further the lives of their people,” she said, she told a conference organized by the Center for Strategic and International Studies and Syracuse University's Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs.

“If that does not happen, the responsibility will be seen by all to rest with Iran,” Sherman added.

Iran is currently in a new round of negotiations with Britain, China, France, Germany Russia and the U.S., who are all seeking to reach a deal by a deadline set for Nov. 24.

Sherman said that the international powers negotiating with Iran offered “equitable, enforceable” ideas which are “consistent with Tehran’s expressed desire for a viable civilian nuclear program.”

According to Sherman, striking a deal before the deadline represent Iran’s best chance to escape economic sanctions and it would be considered its fault if none were reached.

“If Iran truly wants to resolve its differences with the international community -- and facilitate the lifting of economic sanctions -- it will have no better chance than between now and November 24,” she said.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met with his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif for six hours in a Vienna hotel last week.

“We have made impressive progress on issues that originally seemed intractable,” Sherman said, but noted that negotiations were “the very opposite of easy.”

She also noted that some U.S. allies and members of Congress did not want the talks with Iran to succeed.

She claimed the administration has sought to allay fears in Congress and among U.S. allies, including Israel and other countries in the region.

(With agencies)

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