we are broadcasting from Vienna, where the six world powers leading nuclear negotiations with Iran have set a November deadline to reach a deal to constrain Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for easing Western sanctions. Earlier this month, a report by the International Atomic Energy Agency found Iran is meeting its commitments under a temporary deal. But Western diplomats say Iran has refused to provide information about alleged experiments on high explosives intended to produce a nuclear weapon. Information on the experiments is reportedly contained in an intelligence document the IAEA is investigating, but the document itself remains unverified, and at least one member of the IAEA community has raised concerns about its authenticity. Our guest, Robert Kelley, was part of the IAEA’s Iraq Action Team in 2003 and says he is speaking out now because “I learned firsthand how withholding the facts can lead to bloodshed.” Prior to his time in Iraq, Kelley was a nuclear weapons analyst based at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico.
This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.
AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org,The War and Peace Report. I’m Amy Goodman. We’re broadcasting from Vienna, Austria, where the six world powers leading nuclear negotiations with Iran have set a November deadline to reach a deal to constrain Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for easing Western sanctions. The countries, known as the P5+1, have put forward a number of ideas that recognize, quote, “Tehran’s expressed desire for a viable civilian nuclear program and that take into account that country’s scientific knowhow and economic needs,” unquote. The Obama administration has reportedly begun promoting a possible nuclear agreement with Iran to its allies and U.S. policymakers in an effort to garner support ahead of next month’s deadline. On Wednesday, Secretary of State John Kerry told reporters that the Obama administration plans to fully consult Congress about ongoing negotiations with Iran.
SECRETARY OF STATE JOHN KERRY: We are completely engaged in a regular series of briefings. I’ve been talking, even during the break, to senators about our thoughts with respect to the Iran negotiations, and I personally believe, as does the president, that Congress has an extremely important role to play in this, and Congress will play a role in this.
AMY GOODMAN: Last week, Secretary of State John Kerry and his Iranian counterpart, Mohammad Javad Zarif, held six hours of talks here in Vienna in a bid to break an impasse in the talks. U.S. and Iranian diplomats are reportedly still negotiating the future size of Tehran’s nuclear fuel production capacity as well as the pace of the potential lifting of Western sanctions in the case of an agreement.