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Ex-Ambassador Bolton: Iran Will See Agreement as a 'Pit Stop'

Image: Ex-Ambassador Bolton: Iran Will See Agreement as a 'Pit Stop'
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, center, Head of the Iranian Atomic Energy Organization Ali Akbar Salehi, left, and Hossein Fereydoon,brother and close aide to President Hassan Rouhani. (REUTERS/Carlos Barria)

By    |   Tuesday, 07 Jul 2015 12:43 PM

Even if an agreement is finally reached in the long-lasting talks with Iran over its nuclear capabilities, that won't be the end of the discussions, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton said Tuesday.

"Let's assume the deal got signed today," Bolton told Fox News' "America's Newsroom" host Bill Hemmer. "It won't happen, but let's assume it's signed today. That doesn't mean the end of negotiations. For Americans, you think if you negotiate the deal you sign it, and you implement it. For Iran, it's a pit stop between one set of negotiations and the other."

Hemmer noted that the nuclear talks are to run past Tuesday's deadline and until Friday, while Iran continues to demand last-minute concessions.

According to officials, those issues include Iranian demands that a United Nations arms embargo and sanctions on ballistic missiles be lifted, as well as concerns about the timing of U.S. and EU sanctions relief, and arguments concerning Iran's nuclear development and research programs in the future, reports Reuters.

"We have entered the most difficult, but also the most real, part of the negotiations," EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said outside the Vienna hotel, where the talks involving Iran, the United States, Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia are being held.

Bolton told Fox that Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said that the issue most troubling was the question of the arms embargo.

"It highlights the difference between what [the] European nations, Russia and China have to do compared to what the United States would have to do to satisfy that Iranian demand," said Bolton. U.N. sanctions began at the end of 2006, but U.S. sanctions against Iran were not only for nuclear activity, but also for the country's continued role as a leading state sponsor of terror, and went into effect in 1979.

"They are not all nuclear related," Bolton pointed out.

He said that he does not think Iran is in a hurry to finish the negotiations, as "the sanctions, while they may cause a lot of distress in Iran, are not slowing the nuclear weapons program down."

Time, though, will "almost invariably work on the side of the would-be nuclear proliferator," Bolton said. "Pressure is building to evade the sanctions already ... that plays into Iran's hand to extract more concessions."

Meanwhile, he said, there are "thousands of things to talk about," and "this is all evidence in my in mind that Iran has not made the strategic decision to give up nuclear weapons. It's made the strategic decision to get the sanctions lifted."

Watch the video here.

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Even if an agreement is finally reached in the long-lasting talks with Iran over its nuclear capabilities, that won't be the end of the discussions, former United States Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton said Tuesday.
John Bolton, iran, pit stop, nuclear talks
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2015-43-07
Tuesday, 07 Jul 2015 12:43 PM
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