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Iran nuclear deal elusive on second day after deadline


The six world powers and Iran stretched marathon talks on Tehran’s nuclear program into a second day past their deadline, with diplomats saying prospects for a preliminary agreement were finely balanced between success and collapse in the coming hours, Reuters reported

One diplomat close to the talks said late on Wednesday that a deal could be announced within hours but had not yet been reached, and the talks could still fall apart, the report added.

The negotiations, aimed at blocking the Iranian regime’s capacity to build a nuclear bomb in exchange for lifting sanctions, have become bogged down over crucial details of the accord.

Washington reiterated on Wednesday it was willing to walk away if the sides couldn’t agree on a preliminary framework.

The Associated Press reported that “walking away from negotiations would strip Obama of a legacy-shaping deal, deeply complicate international efforts to stop Iran’s suspected pursuit of a bomb.., Obama risks further antagonizing lawmakers in both parties who are poised to take their own action to upend a deal if they feel the president has been too conciliatory.”

The initial response to the extensions from Republicans suggested they had already come to that conclusion.

“The longer the Obama administration stays at the negotiating table with Iran, the more concessions it makes,” said Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who is seeking the GOP presidential nomination.

Montana Republican Sen. Steve Daines said the desire for successful negotiations “should not blind the Obama administration from the reality that only Iran is benefiting from the current approach.”

Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) said the US is negotiating with Iran “from a position of weakness” and “desperate” “to get any kind of deal” on Wednesday’s “Hannity” on the Fox News Channel.

“We’re negotiating from a position of weakness. It’s very clear since we’ve announced yet another day past our own deadline that President Obama said we shouldn’t extend past that we are desperate to get a deal. The Foreign Ministers of France, and Russia, and China all left the negotiations. It just goes to show how desperate we are to get any kind of deal, even if it’s a bad deal. I just think that we should negotiate from a position of strength. That’s why we should have walked away when we hit a deadline” he stated.

Cotton added, “I think it’s time for us to walk away from the table, to reimpose the sanctions that were suspended, for Congress to impose new sanctions, and to rescind all the concessions we’ve made and start negotiations over again from a position of strength, telling Iran exactly what we will not accept.”

Gov. Scott Walker, a possible 2016 presidential candidate, is calling for Americans to join him in telling President Obama to walk away from the negotiations with the Iranian regime because it’s a bad deal, will not keep Americans safe, and will endanger key allies.

Former Democratic Vermont governor and presidential candidate Howard Dean surprised the hosts of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” when he agreed that President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry should leave nuclear negotiations with Iran.

“I’ll say something, you tell me why I’m wrong,” host Joe Scarborough told Dean. “I think John Kerry and Barack Obama are far, far too eager for a deal with Iran, and could actually get a better deal if they walked away from the table and possibly came back later. Why am I wrong, Howard?”

“I actually think you’re right about this,” Dean said.

“I’ll tell you why,” he continued. “I think the United States is negotiating from a much stronger position than we were four years ago. And the reason for that is, these guys are desperate to get rid of the sanctions.”

“I am worried about this. I do think it’s right to be at the negotiating table… Obama is right to try to get a deal,” Dean clarified. “I’m worried about how these negotiations have gone. And I think that Joe is right, probably, to step away from the table…”