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Obama vows to veto Iran sanctions as Zarif sees Kerry

Strong words from US President Obama in support of negotiations instead of sanctions accompanied the second meeting between US Secretary of State John Kerry and Iran Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry sits with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif before a meeting in Geneva January 14, 2015. Zarif said on Wednesday that his meeting with Kerry was important to see if progress could be made in narrowing differences on his country's disputed nuclear program.  REUTERS/Rick Wilking (SWITZERLAND - Tags: POLITICS) - RTR4LDWK

GENEVA — It is testament to the focus and intensity with which the US and Iranian administrations are pursuing a nuclear deal that within a few hours on Jan. 16 the following occurred: President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron, speaking at the White House, made a forceful case against prospective new congressional Iran sanctions, saying they could derail talks for a negotiated agreement that is the best shot at ensuring Iran not pursue nuclear weapons. US and Iranian negotiators met here for a third day to try to advance elements of a framework document for a final nuclear accord. And, oh yeah, US Secretary of State John Kerry and Iran Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif met for an hour in Paris — their second meeting of the week.

For an administration that admitted it more or less forgot to send a high-level VIP to Paris last weekend for the unity march after the terrorist attacks on a satirical newspaper and Kosher grocery, the Obama administration cannot be accused of neglecting the potential diplomatic opportunity to reach an Iran nuclear accord, even as on Jan. 16 Obama put the odds of getting the final deal at “probably less than 50/50.”

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